Steps to lower accident risks

Accident in the home

Accidents, also called unintentional injuries, are the number three cause of death in the most parts of the world. They account for 1 of every 4 people treated in an emergency department.
Death can result from many types of accidents, such as:
• Car accidents
• Drug overdose
• Falls
• Fires

In many cases, accidental injury can be prevented. Here are just a few steps you can take to lower your risks:

~ Don’t drive when you feel sleepy. Don't drive while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Also, don't accept a ride with an impaired driver.
~ Wear your seat belt.
~ Drive the speed limit, and obey traffic laws.
~ Look for safety issues around your home, and fix or remove problems. Remove tripping hazards that can cause falls, such as cords or loose rugs.
~ Make sure smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in your home are working.
~ Use the handrail when walking up or down stairs.
~ Use safety gear during sports activities, such as a helmet when biking.
~ Follow workplace safety guidelines.
~ Learn to swim.
~ Use care with ladders, power equipment, and chemicals when working around the home.

Emergency planning basics

Make an emergency plan and give each family member a copy. This plan should tell how you will get in touch with each other should your family be separated, where you will go, and what you will do. Your children should also know about your plan. Post your family's emergency plan near a telephone and keep a copy in your disaster supplies kit.

Take these steps:
Identify an out-of-town emergency contact that family members can get in touch with to inform about their safety and whereabouts. Keep in mind that your family may not be together in an emergency, which is why an out-of-town contact is important. Make sure every member of your family knows the emergency contact’s phone number. If you have a cellphone, program this number as "ICE," which stands for "In Case of Emergency." Emergency personnel know to look for ICE should you be in an accident.
Pick a neighborhood meeting place and out-of-town meeting place for loved ones to meet should it be dangerous or difficult to go home.
Pick a room in your home where you can shelter in place. Ideally, this room will have a water supply and as few windows and doors as possible.
Come up with a plan to safely get out of your home or building, in case of fire or evacuation.
Should an emergency occur, you need to be ready to act. A thorough emergency plan will help you and loved ones take control of an emergency situation and avoid panic.
On any matter relating to your health or well-being, please check with an appropriate health professional.
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