Our homes should be the safest place in the world. However, home injury statistics show the opposite. Recent data from the U.S. National Safety Council recorded over 25 million household injuries across the country. Furthermore, the NSC reported 89,300 injury-related deaths in the same year.
That’s why it helps to know which injuries you could sustain at home and how to avoid them. Keep reading for more on these household injuries and precautionary steps.
What are the Most Common Household Injuries?
Anyone can experience falls at home. However, this household injury is more common among children and older adults. The Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC) estimates that one out of four older adults falls each year.
Common Causes & Effects of Falling Accidents
Most of the time, a fall won’t hurt you. But the CDC warns that one in five falls could lead to:
- Broken bones
- Brain injuries
- Head injuries
Broken bones from a fall can occur in your wrist, arm, ankle, or hip. But about 95% of injuries are mild hip fractures.
Meanwhile, head injuries from falling accidents can be extremely serious. Fall injuries, if left untreated, can affect your quality of life, as well. For instance, they could have a negative impact on your mobility, sleep quality, and performance. Fall injuries could even turn living independently into a challenge, or worse, cause serious brain injuries.
In some cases, a weak condition triggered by the fear of falling could put you at higher risk for falling.
Risks Factors for Falling Accidents
There are some conditions that increase your likelihood of falling. These include:
- Walking and balance problems
- Foot pain
- Home hazards (e.g. damaged or crooked stairs, rugs, clutter)
Sprains can stretch or tear your ligaments. Ligaments are the fibrous connective tissues between two bones in your joints. Trauma, repetitive movements, and overuse, can cause sprains in the ankles, knees, wrists, and even your shoulders and neck.
Causes of Sprains
Direct injuries like bumps, falls, and trauma can result in a sprain. Any of these injuries can put an affected joint out of place and strain it. In some cases, a direct or indirect injury can cause torn ligaments within a joint.
A slip or fall accident at home could sprain any of your joints, especially if you land on wet or rough flooring. You could also sustain a sprain if you roll your ankle or get hit.
Signs & Symptoms of Sprains
Sprains can trigger different symptoms, depending on their severity. Here are some sprain symptoms to watch out for:
- Unstable joints
- Loss of joint mobility and function
Sometimes, swelling from a sprain could mean a swollen joint or soft tissue. And if you’ve sprained your ankle or knee, your injury could affect the balance of any of those joints.
Risks Factors for Sprains
Anyone can experience a sprain at some point in their lives, regardless of age and physical fitness. However, any of the following risk factors could make you much more susceptible:
- Previous sprains
- Poor physical condition or obesity
- Excessive physical activity on rough surfaces
Bruises are injuries that usually affect the skin, causing discoloration. These marks appear on your skin when blood accumulates close to its surface.
Causes of Bruises
Bumps are the leading cause of bruising. Additionally, head injuries, sprains, strains, and concussions can leave bruises, as well. Eventually, your body will reabsorb the accumulated blood and the discoloration will disappear, but in some cases, bruises leave a dark mark that would last for a long time.
Symptoms of Bruising
A bruise initially appears with a reddish color after you get injured. After a while, the bruise can turn blue or dark purple until it turns yellow or green. You’ll know it’s a bruise if you feel tenderness and sensitivity in the affected area. It can feel painful, as well, but it will subside along with the bruise’s color over time.
Slipping accidents at home can happen if there’s moisture on the ground, reducing your grip on a surface. Most slips are minor, but you can sustain serious injuries, especially if you hit your head or sprain your limbs.
Causes of Slip & Fall Accidents
Slips are usually caused by the following:
- Water, ice, or other slippery substances
- Items you’ve dropped to the ground
Your bathroom floor can also be a cause of slip and fall accidents. Excess water and precipitation from your bathroom sink and shower make flooring slippery. With a misstep on a wet bathroom floor, you can slip and hurt yourself.
Injuries from Slipping Accidents
A slip can result in any of the following injuries:
- Head injuries, particularly affecting the back of your head
- Neck injuries
- Back injuries
- Hip injuries
- Herniated discs
If you’ve sustained any of the injuries we’ve mentioned, it’s crucial that you see a doctor right away.
While a slip occurs due to loss of friction, a tripping accident happens when one foot bumps into a certain object. This collision makes you move forward and out, which results in a fall.
Causes of Trip & Fall Accidents
Common causes of tripping accidents at home include:
- Stationary objects
- Uneven surfaces
- Objects blocking your way
Moreover, these causes could stem from the following:
- Poorly placed items on the floor
- Dim areas inside the home
- Uneven or unmarked door jambs
Injuries from Tripping Accidents
You can get any of the following injuries after a tripping accident:
- Head injuries, particularly affecting the front of your head
- Broken hand or arm
- Elbow injuries
- Knee injuries
How Can You Prevent Household Injuries?
Home accidents can happen at any time. However, you can be a step ahead and keep yourself safe from these mishaps. Here are some helpful tips on avoiding home injuries.
Falls, Slips, & Trips
- Always be aware of your surroundings. Look around the house for items that could make you fall, slip, or trip.
- Make sure to have ample lighting at night.
- Get the necessary support for certain areas of your home.
- See if your stairways have guard rails. Guard rails can support children and elders as they go up or down the stairs.
- If your bathroom has wet surfaces, a handrail can help prevent falls or slips. Install one beside your bathtub or near any slippery surface.
- Place baby gates within your stairway.
- Keep any rug in place. Double-sided tape can help stop gliding and avoid trips.
- Clean your floors. Less clutter reduces your risk of tripping and falling.
- Avoid standing on step stools to reach for objects. Instead, store your tools in an accessible area.
- Clear your floor of cords and cables.
- Clear any area of slip or trip hazards like boxes and toys.
- Walk carefully on uneven or unsteady surfaces.
- Watch your step as you go down ladders or step stools.
- Keep furniture far away from your doors or passageways.
- Use a night light or flashlight for nightly walks to the bathroom.
- Clean spills on your flooring.
Get the Right Care for a Home Injury
Your home can be full of hazards, and these dangers can cause injuries. Paying attention to household hazards can help you avoid falls, sprains, and other types of injuries.
If you have a home injury that’s affecting your daily activities, getting the right care for it is important. LifeClinic offers chiropractic care, physical therapy, and rehabilitation to help restore, maintain, and optimize your body’s function. Moreover, we’ve designed our services to give you the best care for your injury.
Take the first step toward recovery. Find a LifeClinic location near you to get started.