Unintentional injuries are responsible for substantial healthcare costs, decreased quality of life, and loss of many lives.
These include common injuries such as falls, burns, poisoning, drowning, and vehicular crashes. While these incidents afflict everyone, some people are particularly at risk.
Comprehensive and quality first aid strategies prevent unintentional injuries from occurring in the first place, keeping everyone safe and thriving.
The Costs Of Unintentional Injuries
Unintentional injuries are events that are unplanned and occur without the intent of harm. The most common ones are vehicle crashes, falls, fires and burns, drowning, poisonings, and aspirations.
These are not “accidents” and should be considered a public health threat.
Unintentional injuries have cost thousands of lives over the last decades and are responsible for a high proportion of deaths in children and youth in Australia.
The good news is these types of injuries are predictable and preventable with caution and first aid.
Avoiding risks and dangers, being prepared with the necessary equipment, and knowing first aid help prevent injuries in the first place.
6 Tips to Prevent Unintentional Injuries
Create A Safe Physical Environment
The physical environment, both at home and the workplace can affect the outcome of injuries relating to accidental falls, fires, burns, road traffic accidents, drowning, and violence.
Start safety practices at home. Make sure that every area is equipped with proper lighting and clear of any clutter. All surfaces must have functional smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and take extra steps by covering the electrical outlets.
Keep A Well-Stocked First-Aid Kit In Plain Sight
A well-stocked first-aid kit will help you treat common injuries effectively. Keep at least one in your home, car, and workplace.
There are ready-made kits available at many drugstores, or you can opt to create on your own. A DIY first aid kit allows you to tailor your kit based on your family’s needs.
A basic first aid kit must contain adhesive tapes, elastic wrap bandages, non-stick sterile bandages, roller gauze in various sizes, sanitary wipes, instant cold packs, tools, and more.
Create An Emergency Action Plan
Create emergency plans that include evacuation maps, a list of emergency phone numbers, and necessary supplies. Make sure that all family members are aware of the plan beforehand.
Prepare an outline of possible emergency exits and conduct fire drills twice a year. Coordinate with everyone on having a safe meeting place and create a system where you can locate everyone’s whereabouts.
Limit Manual Handling And Lifting
If your job is prone to unintentional injuries due to regular lifting of heavy items, ensure there is a system in place to make the job easier.
Employers need to ensure that workers have the proper tools and equipment to get hard-to-reach items, lift heavy ones, and know how to operate machines safely. It’s also important to have the proper manual handling training to ensure correct technique to reduce injuries.
Access To Services
Access to health services, such as emergency and injury care, help reduce the consequences of unintentional injuries, including long-term disability and death.
First Aid Treatment
A simple injury can develop into something severe without immediate medical treatment. Therefore, first aid is necessary in the event of unintentional injuries as it promotes faster recovery and helps save lives.
When providing treatment, apply the RICE method.
- Rest the injury
- Apply Ice
- Compress the injured part
Do continuous monitoring of the vital signs. If symptoms improve, let it rest for a few days, but for any signs of concerns, call emergency services.
Preparing for injuries means taking a few minutes to assess the environment to remove or minimize risks. As we face uncertainties, we cannot afford to neglect those who can bring significant harm.
Unintentional injuries can present a real danger to both children and adults. It is something that everyone must prepare to address in case it happens.
Consider getting a first aid course for yourself and your loved ones to learn more about health and safety.