We’ve all heard horror stories of how scary mishaps and careless misunderstandings can lead to tragic injuries in the home.
Accidents are partially prone to happen in our own space because we tend to be less aware of dangers when relaxed. So should we live in a constant state of accident-aware panic? In most cases the best defence against small domestic disasters is preventing them from ever happening.
Be aware of common accident causers
As a whole, most household accidents are caused by distractions or slightly careless behaviour. Just knowing where the dangers lie can help you prevent a few tragedies in and around your house.
Fingers are common victims of domestic mishaps. Between sharp kitchen knives and slamming doors it is a wonder we have any left. Ironically a sharp knife is safer than a blunt one as it is less likely to slip. If you are fanatical about keeping your blades razor edged, store them in a knife block or on a magnetised wall strip. A sharp knife in a utensil drawer might become a nasty surprise when you scratch around distractedly in search of the garlic press.
We all know the feeling of a throbbing blue finger after catching it in a window or door. Young fingers can even get crushed or amputated by a sudden slam. Just a simple piece of foam fitted over the edge of a door can be a digit saving slam preventer. Invest in a few safety door stops and start using them in draughty areas of your house first.
Keep burn hazards at a minimum
Any heat source is a potential cause of injury and burns are no laughing matter. Don’t leave hot implements like hair straighteners lying around. Unplug them straight after use and put them safely away.
Simple rules of thumb can go a long way towards declaring your home a burn-free zone. Never put a pot of boiling water near the edge of a table. Always use insulated gloves when handling dishes straight from the oven and be careful of dripping wax when burning candles.
Small children are often curious about what happens in the kitchen and as a result thousands of small hands have come in contact with a hot stove. Induction hobs are a wonderful invention that any parent or cautious cook should consider. These stovetops cook with magnetic fields that allow energy to flow straight into your pot. The stovetop itself never reaches a high enough temperature to cause painful burns.
Be aware of what you’re doing
A lot of home injuries can be completely avoided with some minor foresight.
If a glass or plate breaks, just throwing the shards in the bin means they can cut through the refuse bag and gauge your leg as you take out the trash. Be extra cautious as you lift the bag, or wrap the shards in paper before disposing of it.
Pack knives into the dishwasher with the points down to avoid impaling an arm as your reach into the steamy abyss. After a good arts and crafts session, rid the floor of trip hazards like beads and string. Even a stray sheet of paper on a smooth floor can cause a serious tumble.
A clean floor is especially important if you prefer to walk around your home barefoot. Mop up any spills immediately to prevent slipping, and be extra cautious about picking up small sharp object like the dreaded stray Lego block.
Image credit: Lars Plougmann