Did you know that June is National Safety Month? Each year at this time the National Safety Council draws attention to the leading causes of preventable injury and death in the United States.
In the spirit of National Safety Month, Clay, Massey & Associates would like to share some safety-related facts with the communities in the Mobile area and throughout South Alabama.
1. Car accidents are the leading cause of death among teenagers.
Driving safely takes practice, and teens may have more time to practice during the summer months when school isn’t in session. With that said, statistics show that teenagers are particularly susceptible to driver distraction and poor judgment behind the wheel.
Parents can help protect their kids and other motorists by clearly emphasizing the importance of safe driving. A catastrophic accident can happen in a matter of seconds, and teenagers need to know that bad decisions behind the wheel can have devastating consequences.
For more on preventing distracted driving, please see our previous post on how Alabama drivers can pledge to be responsible.
2. For children who are 1 to 4 years of age, the leading cause of death is drowning.
Summer is also a time when people uncover their swimming pools and try to beat the heat with a refreshing swim. Unfortunately, the frequency of drowning and other swimming pool accidents also increases during the summer months.
For young children, often the risk is lack of supervision. A child may fall into a swimming pool and not be able to get out, and whenever a child is near water, the child should be constantly monitored.
Property owners also have a legal duty to ensure that swimming pools are fenced in and that the gates of the fences are closed and securely locked. Not taking these safety measures increases the possibility that a child will enter the premises and suffer an injury.
3. For people who are 71 or older, falling is the leading cause of preventable death.
Falls can happen any time, but people tend to be a bit more active during the summer months. For seniors, that may increase the risk of slips, trips and falls.
Following are some tips for making your home or the home of an elderly loved one safer:
- Place non-slip adhesive strips on stairs, and place non-skid mats in baths and showers
- Install railings around baths and showers, as well as on both sides of chairs
- Make certain that carpets are secured to the floor, and remove throw rugs
- Arrange furniture to ensure that there is room for walking, and remove all small furniture, electrical cords and any clutter that might cause a trip-and-fall accident
- Wipe up any spills as soon as they happen
- Ensure that walking areas, including halls, kitchens, bathrooms and outdoor areas, are properly lit, day or night
- Make items that are frequently used readily accessible, so a stool or ladder isn’t necessary
It is also important to know that nursing homes have a legal duty to ensure the safety of residents. Unfortunately, falls happen all too frequently in nursing homes. For more on that, please see our overview of nursing home injuries.