Part of caring for your family and yourself is providing a safe environment, and June also happens to be National Safety Month. According to the National Safety Council, unintentional-injury-related deaths happen when we least expect them, often during leisure activities. And many injuries could be prevented with proper safety precautions.
The most common causes of unintentional injuries and death are poisoning, motor vehicle accidents, falls, suffocation from choking, drowning, fires and burns, and natural disasters.
Falls are the number one cause of injury-related deaths for individuals 65 and over and one of the main causes of traumatic brain injury.
But the good news is that falls are preventable, as well as many other accidents, with a little preparation. Most falls occur at home, and can be caused by a number of things, including medication, poor vision, or muscle weakness, but also by hazards in the home. Take time to clear away any tripping hazards and make sure the furniture arrangement allows for unobstructed walking. Secure electrical cords, carpets and throw rugs and make sure there is adequate lighting everywhere. Put night lights in bathrooms, hallways and kitchens. Install handrails on both sides of stairwells and grip bars in bathrooms. If you have assistive devices, like a walker or cane, use it as your physician or therapist recommends. Make sure you have shoes that fit properly and have a non-slip sole, and keep the floor clean of spills or other hazards. Outside, you should also have clear walkways that are level and have plenty of light at night. Keep your patio and deck free of clutter or loose rugs that could pose a tripping hazard.