January Injury Prevention
New year resolutions and safety
January is the month of New Year’s resolutions. So often the resolutions we make are unrealistic and difficult to maintain, and by February, plans have been abandoned.
This year, consider making your resolution to have an injury-free year. Over the last three years, a number of articles have been written for this website and are available in the archives section. A few highlights that can get you jump-started toward achieving that goal are as follows:
- Resolve to talk as a family about injury concerns.
- Resolve to develop a fire escape plan for your home, including a safe meeting place that everyone can remember.
- Resolve to talk to your children about ways to walk away from bullies they may encounter. Be definite about their need to let you or a teacher know if they are being bullied.
- Resolve to make a family commitment to keep your home safe from slips, falls and other injuries. This is accomplished by using education and common sense about keeping walkways clear, and using home tools, paints and cleaners, and other equipment as directions indicate.
- Resolve to post the poison control number in a central location. Keeping solvents and cleaners out of the reach of young children will additionally reduce your need to use this number, but having it handy can prove to be lifesaving.
- Resolve to educate your family about calling 911, and inform them about what information the emergency service people need. Make sure that even the youngest members know their address and phone number to help guide emergency personnel.
- Resolve to keep recreational activities safe. Always use safety equipment, warm up before physical activity, and return equipment to its designated storage area after use.
- Resolve to wear life jackets when at the lake, and do not drink alcohol when planning to participate in water activities or drive a boat. Your chances of drowning increase when your judgment is impaired by any amount of alcohol.
- If you have a home swimming pool, be sure to always have an adult present when children and non-swimmers are in the pool. Install a fence around the pool deck area, and keep the gate locked to prevent the potential drowning of a curious child.
- Resolve to follow all instructions when using any kind of power equipment, lawnmowers and yard tools. Wear safety glasses, appropriate footwear and be sure you are familiar with the equipment.
- And finally, resolve to communicate with teens that drinking and driving is never acceptable. When you act as an example, the message is much more meaningful.
All of these resolutions require minimal investment and planning when you consider the human and financial cost of ignoring recommended safety suggestions. Be a leader in your family by modeling safe behaviors, and others will follow.