Household injuries are at an all-time high and the fourth leading cause of death: according to CDC FastStats Accidents or Unintentional Injuries, 200,955 unintentional injury deaths were recorded in 2020. In 2020, an estimated 156,300 preventable injury-related deaths occurred in homes and communities, or about 78% of all preventable injury-related deaths that year.1 Household injuries and deaths can take many forms but share the common characteristic of being preventable. Understanding where these injuries commonly arise, and how to prevent them, can protect you and your family from the most common dangers in your home – and may even save a life.
Household injuries are commonly caused by:
- Electrical hazards
- Slip and fall hazards
- Tripping hazards
- Chemical poisonings
- Choking hazards
- 1.6 million older adults were treated in U.S. emergency departments for unintentional fall-related injuries and 388,000 of these patients were subsequently hospitalized
- 47 percent of households in the US with children under 5 years old had a pesticide stored in an unlocked cabinet within reach of a child
- 400,000 residential fires each year result in $7 billion in property damage and 3,000 deaths.
Actions You Can Take
- Install smoke detectors. One on each floor and outside of bedrooms. Check your local fire department to see about obtaining free smoke detectors.
- Install carbon monoxide detectors. One outside of bedrooms and one on the main level of the house.
- Store poisonous chemicals in a child-proof cabinet (safety latches). Anything with Caution, Warning, or Danger on the label needs to be away from your children.
- Store weapons and ammunition separately. Ammunition should be locked up so that kids cannot access.
- Prevent slips, trips and falls by keeping floors in repair and clear of anything that may cause tripping. Install senior fall prevention measures where appropriate.