Surprising facts you may not know about home injuries

Sometimes dangers can lurk in your house without you even knowing it! Home injuries in the U.S. cause as many as 20 million hospital trips each year. At Paul Davis Restoration of Central Maine we care deeply about the safety of you and your family. Here we’ve put together a list of common home injury facts. Take a look and make our suggested upgrades to your home—your family and house will be all the safer for it!

Look out below!
You may think your toddler is the only one taking tumbles around your home, but be careful: Falls actually are the No. 1 cause of unintentional home injury-related deaths. One of the most dangerous spots in your house? It’s not the kitchen or even the garage that’s chock full of power tools. It’s the slippery tub or shower inside your bathroom — because the hard landing surface causes injuries upon impact.

How to stay safe: Experts recommend installing support bars in the tub and shower to help you enter and exit safely. You also can use non-slip mats on the bottom of the tub and shower to help reduce the amount of slippery surface area you come into contact with.

Outside the bathroom, staircases are another particularly dangerous location where falls at home often occur. Don’t let your kids stash books and toys on the stairs—someone might trip over them. If you don’t have handrails on all of your staircases, now is the time to install them! Finally, if your stairs are wood, start taking off any lightweight slippers, UGG-type boots or socks before going up and down. These simple safety measures could help prevent a world of hurt!

Be wary of what you ingest
Now that your kids are old enough to know the difference between mouthwash and toilet bowl cleaner, you might think you don’t have to worry about accidental poisonings in your home. Unfortunately, accidental poisoning is not only a leading cause of death for young people but also for older adults who may mix up or accidentally overdose on certain medications. To help prevent a poisoning in your home, lock up all cleaning supplies and chemicals (such as laundry detergents, pool cleaners and pesticides). Do the same in the bathroom with medications, mouthwash, and hair products.

How to stay safe: In the kitchen, keep food extracts, such as vanilla, out of reach of children and teens. Finally, store all products carefully—don’t keep the cleaning supplies in the same cabinet as food products, for example. And always store chemicals in their original containers to avoid a dangerous leak or accidental ingestion!

To keep yourself safe from an accidental drug overdose, always read the labels of every medication you take. Make sure to follow all directions carefully, and ask your pharmacist before taking more than one medication at a time. If you are ill or sleepy, double check the dose you are taking with another member of your household before taking the pills.

Call the Poison Control hotline (800-222-1222) for definitive answers about taking certain combinations of medications, or what to do if a member of your family has swallowed poison – it just might save a life!

Cease fire
It’s a sad truth: Accidental firearm shooting rates remain much higher in children than adults, and nearly all childhood accidental firearm shootings occur in or around the home. Yet an estimated 3.3 million children live in a house where guns are never or rarely locked and often are kept loaded.

How to stay safe: If you own a gun, hide it from your kids and always keep it unloaded. Store it in a locked container well out of reach of your children. These simple steps will help prevent a heartbreaking accident or injury.

No burns, baby
Burns are a common household injury, but one surprisingly common type of household burn comes from an unexpected source: Water. Every year, 3000 children require hospitalization for burns caused by water that is too hot (children tend to burn faster than adults because they have thinner skin). Water heaters typically leave the factory pre-set to a temperature of 140 to 150 degrees—a child can receive a third degree burn in just two seconds in 150 degree water. And adults aren’t immune, either: 130 degree water can scald your skin in just 30 seconds.

How to stay safe: To prevent dangerous burns from hot water, check your water heater temperature: It should be between 120 and 125 degrees. Never place a child directly into water without first feeling the temperature—if it feels too hot to you, it most likely will burn your child. Put protective knobs on faucets so children cannot turn on the water if unsupervised. Finally, always bathe children with their backs to the knobs so they can’t accidentally turn the hot water on themselves.

Paul Davis Restoration of Central Maine

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