Even in the safest home environment, accidents can occur. Importantly, it is good to know what the common home accidents are and how to deal with them.
We strive so much to keep our living spaces conducive and safe but with a family and possibly children in the household, a lot can happen.
One needs to be prepared on how to deal with home accidents in case of an emergency at home before getting to the hospital.
An emergency number can be placed in a visible area in the home in case one need to call for help, if not able to deal with the Accident and need professional help. The numbers can be for rescue companies, firefighters, ambulance, police, hospital and even immediate family members, etc.
As the first respondent at home when an accident happens we want to give you tips on how to deal with the scenario before the situation becomes worse. This first aid can save the life of the victim hence you need to have confidence when dealing with the injured person.
The home we say is the safest place but many accidents with children happen inside the house.
What is an Accident?
An accident can be an unplanned event with undesirable consequences. Furthermore, it can cause loss or injury. Children are the most affected people of home accidents due to their spirit of adventure and curiosity.
Burns and scalds, swallowing foreign bodies, cuts, poisoning, putting things in the nose/ear and minor bruises are the most common home accidents among the many in the list.
Minor accidents can be treated at home if severe the child should be taken to see a doctor for proper care.
Causes of Accidents
- Fruit peels
- Open sockets
- Wet floor
- Open fire
- Eating hurriedly
- Sharp objects
- Carrying heavy object
Types of Home Accidents, Preventions or Treatment
An electrocution is an event where someone is injured or killed by electric shock.
It cannot be taken lightly as when severe can cause cardiac arrest or even death.
Without a doubt, in a house with naked socked electrocution can occur.
Especially if the electric appliance you are using comes into contact with water.
Absolutely, inserting screwdrivers in sockets by children can lead to shocks. Using faulty cords can bring about electrocution too at home.
- By enclosing naked sockets, avoid touching naked sockets with wet hands.
- Call in the experts for most electrical tasks that are complex in your house.
- Split or damaged cords should be discarded and get a new replacement.
- Childproofing your outlets by installing tamper-resistant receptacles. Unquestionably, these outlets will have permanent security against foreign objects being inserted into the slots by the children.
- Replace immediately worn out plugs or broken switches.
A burn occurs when there is exposed heat near someone. Children are very curious and their spirit of adventure can lead to dangerous accidents at home. Undoubtedly, they can be burnt by touching hot tea, boiling water, hot utensils. Only the mild burns can be treated at home if severe one needs to take the child to a doctor.
Precautions can be exercised and can prevent burns by switching of gas supplies or taking care around explosive heat materials. Apart from this, one can use gloves when handling hot utensils. In case of a burn accident at home when mild you can treat as follows.
- Run cool water (room temperature) over the area for several minutes, which lowers the temperature of the skin.
- Apply an aloe Vera gel to ease the pain.
- Cover the area with a damp gauze pad (these are things you should have in your first-aid kit).
- Don’t apply ice, butter, or other popular home remedies, which can actually prevent proper healing.
- Call the pediatrician if the burn is large and severe.
- Don’t burst blisters if they occur in the burnt area.
- If the child is unconscious, has difficulty breathing or the burn is serious call 911.
A cut is a break or opening in the skin which can be deep or shallow. Cuts can affect the muscle, ligament, skin and sometimes bones.
Cuts are mostly caused by sharp objects like knife, sword, and nail, anything pointed. Keep sharp objects in a safe place.
If a person is cut he/she can experience bleeding, pain, numbness when deep. Treat the cut immediately to prevent any infection.
- Remember this is possible when the cut is mild if severe consult your doctor as bleeding might be severe.
- Wash the affected area to remove dirt
- Apply antiseptic
- Use direct pressure and elevation to control bleeding.
- Use a sterile dressing or bandage.
- Use pain reliever recommended by a doctor where necessary.
A lot of children love eating without any problem. Nonetheless, some are a picky eater and can keep food for long in the mouth without swallowing. Forcing parents to have strategies to prevent food pocketing.
A child eating fast or putting a lot of food in the mouth at once can lead to choking. As children grow some play with small toys which they sometimes put in the mouth and accidents can occur. The child can choke on a toy in the mouth while playing.
To avoid this train your child to put small portions of food in the mouth. Teach table manners tell the child not to talk with food in the mouth.
Supervise her/him while playing with her toys so as not to put anything in her mouth.
For a big child
- When the child chokes, hit between the shoulder blades to unblock the airways.
- Give up to five abdominal thrusts.
- Hold the child around the waist and pull inwards and upwards above their belly button.
- Call 999 if the blockage doesn’t dislodge.
For a baby
- Hold the baby face-down along your thigh with their head lower than their bottom and give 5 back blows.
- Hit them firmly on their back between the shoulder blades up to five times.
- If back blows do not dislodge the blockage, turn the baby over so they are facing upwards.
- Place two fingers in the middle of their chest just below the nipples and push sharply downwards up to five times.
- Call 999 if not successful.
Bruises occur when an injury breaks blood vessels under your skin resulting in a visible blue-black spot.
Indeed it can cause pain, pale skin, tenderness in the injured area, and discoloration. Furthermore, when severe can cause fever too.
It mostly occurs when one falls, or a severe blow to a body area, or a fall.
- Clean the area bruised
- Apply ice on the area
- Apply antiseptic.
- Wrap the area with a small bandage to compress the injured area.
- If severe avoid strenuous exercises.
- A doctor may prescribe pain relievers.
- Subsequently, can be advised by the doctor to use crutches depending on the injured area.
Exposure to Poison
The exposure of poison in the homes is around 80% and children between the ages of 1-4 are the most affected.
Nonetheless, there is National Poison Control Hotline number: 1-800-222-1222 where a parent can call on the way forward in case your child has been poisoned.
Signs that your child can exhibit are difficult in breathing, vomiting, nausea, foaming in the mouth, unconsciousness.
- Install safety locks/childproof latches on all cabinets to restrict access to children.
- Keep the medicine away from children preferably in lockable cabinets.
- Do not store chemicals or medicine in food containers but in well-labeled drug containers.
- Indoor plants that are poisonous should be kept out of children’s reach.
- Lock detergent and dangerous chemicals, medicines in a place where your children can’t get them.
- Do not mix chemicals with fumes where your children are.
- Keep your children out of sprayed areas/plants with pesticides.
One out of five falls causes a serious injury such as broken bones or a head injury.
Falls can also cause fractures and make it difficult for one to get by with their daily chores.
On the other hand, it can be caused by many factors like clutter, poor lighting, tripping over things, unsafe stairs or home.
- Install stair gates especially for babies and have handrails.
- Additionally, in the bathroom have non slip floors or put non slid mats.
Clean up any water that splashes on floors right away when bathing or after coming out of the shower.
- It should be noted, putting a dry towel near the bathtub to step on when coming out dry up the dripping water.
- In an area where cleaning is going on, you can put a sign of a wet floor to warn anyone passing there to be careful so as not to slip and fall down.
- Leave the light on especially on hallways, bathroom especially at night.
- Throw fruit peels, for instance, banana peels in the dustbin and not on the floor.
- Declutter the hallway in the house and pick toys on the floor or baby things that one can trip over.
- Despite this, ensure everything is put in its place to avoid falling over any obstacle.
- Add grab bars inside and outside your tub or shower and next to the toilet.
A sprain occurs when your ligament or muscle has been stretched and mostly occurs on the ankle. When a child falls on the stairs, twist or has a blow on the ankle a sprain or fracture can occur depending on how serious the fall was. Some sprains which are mild can be treated at home but a serious one might require surgery especially if the ligament is torn.
The ankle might swell, be painful and the child/ person might not be able to walk properly hence limiting their mobility.
The house has many activities and lifting heavy objects in the wrong way can cause sprains due to overstretching your muscles.
When organizing home furniture, lifting baby bed, shifting heavy machinery in the house can lead to overstretching your muscles and cause a sprain.
You can prevent this by carrying fewer items when moving things around or use a wheelbarrow when the load is heavy.
- Once the sprain occurs it is important to see a doctor if it is painful to get the right treatment.
- Follow the instructions, as the amount of time needed to fully heal depends on the injury extent.
- Eat a balanced diet to build your muscles to be strong.
- Rest the injured area
- Do not strain more use crutches or cane to walk to prevent further damage to the knee or ankle (the area injured).
- Put ice on the swelling area for 30 minutes to reduce it.
- Suspend the leg (or any other injured area) on a pillow.
- Take medication for pain and swelling as advised by the doctor.
- After several days start exercising the injured body part for a few minutes to prevent numbness.
- Importantly the exercise should be mild so as not to injure the area again.
Everyone should be aware of the dangers in the home so that accidents can be avoided.
Our bodies are susceptible to quite a number of injuries and accidents that could lead to permanent damage if not taken care of.
We should take care of all the body parts properly as all body parts are useful to do some work.
Accidents can change once life as even a light physical blow to, for instance, the head can cause a concussion or even brain damage that could be permanent.