Community: Preventing Accidents and Injuries Around the Home

Community: Preventing Accidents and Injuries Around the Home

From Falls to Fires, Discover How to Reduce Common Household Hazards

Do you know what the leading cause of death for people between the ages of one and 44 is in Florida?  You might be surprised to learn it is injuries.  Even among older residents, unintentional injury ranks fourth, after cancer, heart disease, chronic lower respiratory disease, and stroke.  Polk County is fortunate enough to have some excellent health care options for helping us deal with accidents and chronic injuries.  Lake Wales Medical Center’s Wound Healing Center has been the recipient of recent awards from Healogics.  They have won the Center of Excellence Award for the fourth time and the Center of Distinction Award for the fifth time.  These awards are given to recognize high levels of outstanding clinical outcomes.

The LWMC Wound Healing Center offers a number of specialized treatments for patients suffering from a variety of conditions, some of which include pressure ulcers, diabetic ulcers, infectious wounds, and other chronic injuries that do not heal in a reasonable amount of time.

It’s a fact of life that accidents happen, and not every injury can be prevented, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try to mitigate our risk.  In honor of National Safety Month, here are some facts and tips for making your home a safer place to be.

  • Falls— Accidental falls are the leading cause of injuries among adults over the age of 65 in Florida.  There were 50,730 hospitalizations in 2014 for residents with non-fatal injuries, and 2,445 deaths.  There are many possible contributing factors when it comes to falls, ranging from health conditions to household conditions.  Even poor nutrition can be a factor, as it can lead to dizziness and weakness.  Regular exercise, proper healthcare and medicine management, and home maintenance can reduce the likelihood of a fall.
  • Drowning— The Sunshine State has an abundance of water hazards, which can be particularly dangerous for children.  It is important that if you have a pool, then it must be properly fenced and secured.  Children need to be taught water safety from a very young age, and what to do in an emergency situation.  The three layers of protection for children around pools are supervision, barriers, and emergency preparedness.  For more great information on water safety and drowning prevention, turn to pages 14 and 19.
  • Poisoning— Unintentional poisoning is a big problem for all ages, as there are many toxic substances in the average household.  If there are children in a household, cleaning supplies should be stored in a cabinet with a child lock, and labeled appropriately.  Never mix cleaning products, as harmful fumes can result.  The same is true for fertilizers and other garden-care chemicals.  Medicines, both over-the-counter and prescription, should also be kept out of the reach of children and properly labeled. Accidental poisoning is currently the leading cause of unintentional-injury-related deaths.
  • Fires— Many household fires begin at night, while occupants are sleeping.  That’s why it is imperative that your family have a functional smoke alarm in addition to an emergency safety plan.  A carbon monoxide alarm is also a vital part of a home safety system.  Make sure you have a fire extinguisher or two on-hand, and learn how to use them.  Keep lighters and matches away from little hands, and keep the kids at least three feet away from anything hot, including stove tops, candles, and space heaters.

These are just a few of the things that can pose potential threats to the safety of yourself and your loved ones.  Take the time to check your home to make sure hazardous materials are properly stored and safety equipment is in good working order.  Don’t let an accidental injury ruin your summer.

Photo caption: Lake Wales Medical Center staff and physicians celebrated recently the hospital’s Wound Healing Center, which received two prestigious awards.  Pictured are, front row, from left: Amanda Williams RN; Katina Green, RN; Alicia Lyons; Crystal Browning RN; Lindsay Kula, CMA; Alicia Walker, RN; and Tiffany Rodriguez, RN, Director of the Wound Healing Center. Back row, from left: Dr. James Nelson (Medical Director); Dr. Fred Howard; Monte Holm, certified hyperbaric technician; and Dr. Benigno Feliciano.

by TERESA SCHIFFER

Categories: Features, Health News

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