Veronica B.

Recent world events might have you feeling worried about the security of your family. The largest threats to security are extremely close to home. According to the National Safety Council (NSC), automobile accidents, falls, accidental poisoning, drowning, and choking are the leading causes of accidental death in the United States. Don't overlook some of the easiest ways to keep your family safe. These 10 tips can help.

  1. In case of a vehicle crash, this simple action can mean the difference between death and life. Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for people ages 1 to 33, as stated by the NSC. About each 12-1/2 minutes, a person in the United States is killed because of an auto accident. Every 14 seconds, a person suffers a disabling injury. Seat belts save the lives of thousands of people each year.

  2. Use child safety seats. Using a child safety seat can reduce the danger of fatal injury by roughly 70 percent in children under age 1. Make sure you install the seat properly--close to 80 percent aren't installed. The safest place for a child safety seat is at the center of the rear seat. The airbag should be turned off if a child must ride in the passenger seat. For more information on how best to install car seats, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

  3. Don't drink and drive. Consider this: Approximately 40 percent of auto accident deaths involve drinking. In deaths involving children, over 60 percent of the kids are riding in the driver's car. Designate a nondrinker to drive, if you will drink. Or call a cab.

  4. Put on a helmet. Always use a helmet when biking or when playing sports, such as football or baseball. A head injury often leads to irreversible damage to the brain. The risk for head injury cans reduce by about 85 percent. Enforce rules with your kids--no playing biking or the sport, no helmet. Set a good example by wearing your helmet when biking.

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

You can take action to keep children and both older adults safely upright, although Kids are nearly as likely to be injured in a fall. Keep your house rugs, and toys on the floor. Keep stairs free of clutter and place handrails on both sides of all stairs. Install light switches at the top and bottom of stairs. Use nonslip mats and shower. Install grab bars and in shower or the tub.

Never leave a baby alone on a bed or table and use the safety straps. Use Gates to prevent access to balconies and stairways. And also make spindles on staircases are four inches apart or less from slipping through them, to prevent the head of an infant.

  1. Watch those windows. Screens are designed to keep insects out, not children in. If you put in guards that keep children more than a few inches, make sure that the guards can be released in the event of fire. Periodically assess your windows to make sure 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 main substances that cause accidental death are poisonous houseplants, medicines, cleaning products, pesticides, and carbon monoxide. Keep your medicines locked away from fingers that are young that are curious and always tighten caps properly. Transfer your cleaning products to cabinets with safety latches. Keep your local poison control center phone number close to the phone, and always have a carbon monoxide detector that works.

  3. Be watchful near water. Never leave your child alone in a pool or beach or in a bathtub. For those who have a swimming pool, put it in, install doors leading away from curious eyes to it and put toys when not in use. For added protection, install a cover that prevents access to the water.

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

  5. Be prepared for fire. Smoke detectors and fire extinguishers can 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 that everyone knows teach kids their last name, address and where to meet outside the house, and also how to call 911 in the event of an emergency. To prevent fires in your home, be certain all electrical appliances, electrical wires, and outlets are in great condition; keep children, pets, pets and combustible materials away from space heaters; even should you smoke, do not smoke in bed or on upholstered furniture.