Causes and Prevention of Home/Domestic Accident


Causes and Prevention Home/Domestic Accident

Home accidents which are also known as Domestic accidents mean accidents which take place in the home or its immediate surroundings and/or all accidents not associated with traffic, vehicle or sports accidents. 

Home accidents have continued to increase due to the diverse nature of our dwelling places and the types of equipment put in place for use.

The increasing use of different household materials carelessly has led to corresponding accidents resulting in injuries, disabilities and even death. Hence, the home is not entirely safe from accidents after all.


Causes of Home/ Domestic Accidents

Causes and Prevention Home/Domestic Accident

The most frequent causes of home accidents include but are not limited to the following:

1. Falls (uneven floor, faulty staircase, slippery or wet grounds).

2. Fire (candles, naked light, electricity, gas appliances that are poorly handled).

3. Burns (by a flame, hot liquid, electricity, crackers or fireworks, chemicals).

4. Poisoning and gassing (drugs, insecticides, rat poisons, gas, kerosene, smoke poisoning from smoke emitting gadgets like generators, etc.).

5. Injuries from sharp or pointed objects and firearms.

6. Bites and other injuries from animals.

7 Drowning in homes with swimming pools, baths, ponds, wells, water tanks.

Other causes of home accidents are:

1.  Lack of value for health and human life

2.  Ignorance about safety practices.

3.  Physical disability or defect.

4.  Poor mental judgment.

5.  Fatigue or tiredness.

6.  Haste.

7.  Carelessness.


(i) Falls: This set of accidents constitutes the majority of all home accidents. Fall is when a person is displaced from his current position by a given force acting on it. Among the aged due to poor gait, vision and reflexes accidents may occur and may be fatal especially in the bathroom or kitchen. Bars, where one can grip in the bathroom, may be necessary especially for the aged.

Persons may fall because of the following reasons:

· Polished floors.

· Poorly organized home setting

· Slippery, wet floors or polished floors.

· Poor illumination round the house.

· Weak staircase.

· Poor gripping rugs.

· Chairs or ladder climbing.

· Poorly organized toys.

It is very important to note that, the kitchen, stairways, toilets and bathrooms are the most common places of falls in the home.

While the injuries associated with falls are bruises, sprains, fractures, and contusion among others.

These injuries could be devastating enough to result in death in some cases.


(ii) Poisoning: This danger is seen more frequently with kids. The casualties of poisoning are often not mature enough to foretell the possible risk of their actions. The accidents associated with poisons are drinking of kerosene, medicine, bleach, liquid soap, rat poison, insect spray, cream, gases, insecticide, drugs like aspirin, analgesics and other drugs should be removed from the reach of children.

Similarly, poorly cooked and poorly stored foods can constitute poisoning of the consumers. Children should be taught early to avoid using medicine or drink/eat anything without permission from adults. Unused or old medicines or consumables packages or tinned food should be disposed of promptly.


(ii) Fires, Burns and Scald: These types of accidents are very common and could be very serious. Naked flames, scalds from hot cooking oil, hot water, electric shock, gas burn constitute a major home hazard. Fire and burn accidents represent a source of potential cause of permanent disabilities or disfiguring or even death.


Causes of Fire and Burns

1.  Careless disposal of lighted cigarette stubs, and matches.

2.  Negligence in the use of electric iron, heaters, boiling rings.

3.  Defective electrical and electronic gadgets.

4.  Poor handling of inflammable, e.g. petrol.

5.  Adulterate kerosene for household chores.

6.  Poor handling of overheated gas, water, soup, etc.

7. Liquid oxygen and nitrogen.

(iv) Cuts and Punctures: These types of injuries are also very common in the home. The use of a sharp knife or razor blades can inflict cuts on the user. It could also cause injuries if not kept away from children who may handle them haphazardly.

Some other cooking or eating materials like breakable cups, plates, pots can also inflict cuts on the users. Cutlery like forks can puncture the lips, tongue if used carelessly; pointed knives, nails, pins, broken bottles, etc. can cause puncture wounds easily and if used sloppily


Prevention of Home/Domestic Accidents

To reduce the occurrence of home/domestic accidents, the following should be considered:

1. Adequate supervision of children.

2. Construction of safer house building structures.

3. Health Education is an important factor in the prevention of domestic accidents.

4. Use of mass media to encourage public awareness of domestic hazards.

The more informed parents are about accident prevention, the better instruction they make for their children.

5. Fit smoke detectors on buildings.

6. Standardization of household equipment.

7. Avoid making the floor to be slippery.

8. Consumer Protection Council (CPC) should protect the public from unreasonable risks of injury or death associated with the use of thousands of types of consumer products.

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