Burns, cuts, falls, intake of cleaning products… Domestic accidents occur in every home. They are the main cause of pediatric consultation for children under five, but many adults are also involved in this type of accidents. Here we are some simple tips to help you make your home safer for your family.
Let us start with a really basic but useful tip: pay attention. Some people are just more absent-minded than others and that is a fact; but when it is time to undertake certain domestic tasks, there is no other choice but paying attention. To prevent burns, try using short handled pots and pans, wear gloves to manipulate them, and keep children away from the stove. Be extra careful with activities that carry higher risks, like cooking on the grill, frying food or even drinking hot beverages such as mate, tea, or coffee. An interesting fact: burns from boiling water are the most frequent household accidents.
In the kitchen, keep knives, forks, scissors, and other sharp utensils in a locked drawer. Safety latches for this purpose can be bought online or in baby supply stores.
Keep appliances with sharp blades and glassware in the upper cabinets, out of children’s reach. Use a safety lock for your dishwasher and any other doors that are within your kids’ reach. Make tips and edges safer with child protection devices. Also check that hammocks and other outdoor games are not rusty, chipped or have sharp edges.
When reutilizing bottles or containers, be sure to clearly label their contents. Although this advice may seem a little basic, most intoxications occur for lack of proper labelling. Avoid using water, juice, or soda bottles. Store every medication—either prescription or over-the-counter―out of children’s reach and sight, preferably in a lockable cabinet. Even the most harmless-looking substances, such as mouthwashes, can be extremely dangerous to a child if swallowed in large quantities.
Although prevention should always be the main focus of attention, knowing what to do when an accident happens is vital. Take note of these three steps:
Keep a first aid kit and a fire extinguisher in your home or building―they can make a huge difference during an emergency.
Take a deep breath―try to stay as calm as possible.
Seek medical attention in your nearest health center as soon as possible―remember to take your health insurance card or number with you.