10 Ways to Keep your Blended Family Safe

Veronica B.

Recent world events may have you feeling particularly worried about the safety of your family. The threats are often very near to home. According to the National Safety Council (NSC), automobile accidents, falls, accidental poisoning, drowning, and choking are the top causes of unintentional death in the USA. Do not miss some of the easiest ways to keep your loved ones safe. These 10 tips can help.

  1. In case of a car accident, this action can mean the difference between life and death. Motor vehicle crashes are the major cause of death for people ages 1 to 33, according to the NSC. About every 12-1/2 minutes, someone in the United States dies because of an auto accident. Every 14 seconds, someone suffers a disabling injury. Seat belts save the lives of tens of thousands of people every year.

  2. Use child safety seats. Working with a child safety seat can reduce the risk for fatal injury by about 70 percent in children under age 1. Be certain to install the seat correctly, close to 80 percent aren't installed correctly. The safest location for a child safety seat is in the center of the seat. If a child must ride in the passenger seat, the airbag should be turned off. For more information about the best way to install car seats, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

  3. Do not drink and drive. Consider this: Around 40 percent of automobile accident deaths involve drinking. Over 60 percent of the children are riding at the drunk driver's car, in drunk-driving deaths involving children. Designate a nondrinker to drive if you are going to drink. Or call a cab.

  4. Wear a helmet. Always use a helmet when biking or when playing sports, such as football or baseball. A head injury often results in irreversible damage. The risk for head injury can be cut by about 85 percent. Enforce strict rules with your children like no biking or sports without a helmet. Set a good example by wearing your helmet.

  5. Prevent falls. The CDC reports that about 20,000 individuals age 65 and older die each year of falls.

You can take steps to help keep both older adults and kids safely upright, although Kids are nearly as likely as seniors to be hurt in a fall. Keep your house clear of tripping hazards, such as electrical cords, throw rugs, and toys on the floor. Keep stairs free of clutter and put handrails on both sides of all stairs. Install light switches at the top and bottom of stairs. Use nonslip mats in the tub and shower. Install grab bars near the toilet and in the bathtub or shower.

Never leave a baby alone on a bed or changing table and use the safety straps on high chairs and strollers. Install gates to prevent access to balconies and stairways. And also make sure spindles are four inches apart or less from slipping to avoid the head of an infant.

  1. Watch those windows. Screens are designed to keep insects out, not kids in. Make sure the guards could be released easily in the event of fire if you put in guards that keep kids over a few inches. Periodically check your windows to ensure they're not painted, nailed, or swollen shut.

  2. Prevent poisoning. Poisoning is a major cause of death in the home, the NSC states. The substances that can cause accidental death are poisonous houseplants, medicines, cleaning products, pesticides, and carbon monoxide. Keep your medications locked away from curious fingers that are young and tighten caps. Move your cleaning products. Keep your regional poison control center telephone number close to the phone. Always make sure your carbon monoxide detector is in good working order.

  3. Be watchful near water. Over 3,000 people drown each year, and children up to age 4 will be the most susceptible. Never leave your child in a pool or beach or in a bathtub. If you have a swimming pool, put it in, install self-closing doors leading to it and put toys away from eyes when not in use. For extra protection, install a cover that prevents access.

  4. Keep children. Suffocation is a major cause of death in the home for children ages 4 and younger. Always put infants to sleep on a firm mattress on their backs, not on blanket, pillow, or a soft cushion. Be certain that you keep toys with long strings and pull cords that are window-shade . Children under 4 may choke on firm. Such as hard candy, nuts, grapes, and popcorn, so introduce foods. Also keep small objects that a child could swallow--like jewelry and tacks--safely.

  5. Be ready for fire. Smoke detectors and fire extinguishers will help prevent death and injury when a fire breaks out in your house. Test smoke detectors monthly and change the batteries twice a year. Ensure everyone knows where to meet outside the house and teach kids their final name, address, and also how to call 911. To help prevent fires in the home, make sure all electric appliances, electric cords, and outlets are in good condition; keep children, pets, pets and combustible materials away from space heaters; if you smoke, don't smoke in bed or on upholstered furniture.