Staying safe every day
The National Safety Council encourages everyone to be aware of hazards related to leisure and recreational activities and take proper safety precautions. Here, in order, are the top causes of unintentional injury and death in homes and communities:
Poisonings have overtaken motor vehicle crashes for the first time as the leading cause of unintentional-injury-related death for all ages combined. Poisoning deaths are caused by gases, chemicals and other substances, but prescription drug overdose is by far the leading cause.
2. Motor Vehicle Crashes
No one wakes up thinking they will lose a loved one in a car crash, but motor vehicle crashes are the second leading cause of unintentional-injury-related death overall. Impaired driving, distracted driving, speeding and inexperience can cause a life to be cut short in the blink of an eye. Everyone has a role in making our roads safer.
In 2016, 34,673 people died in falls, according to Injury Facts. Falling is the third leading cause of unintentional-injury-related death over all age groups, but it’s the #1 cause of death for those 65 and older. The good news: Aging itself does not cause falls. Learn what you can do to help protect older loved ones, by checking the National Safety Council website at www.nsc.org.
4. Choking and Suffocation
Suffocation is the fourth leading cause of unintentional injury-related death over all age groups, and choking on food or other objects is a primary cause. Suffocation is the second leading cause of unintentional injury death for people 87 and older. Mechanical suffocation is the #1 cause of death for infants.
Not including boating incidents, about 10 people drown every day. It’s the fifth leading cause of unintentional-injury-related death over all ages, and the #1 cause of death for children ages 1 to 4, mostly due to children falling into pools or being left alone in bathtubs. Learn how to keep yourself and your family safe, check out the NSC website.
6. Fires and Burns
Fire is the sixth leading cause of unintentional injury-related death over all ages. About 2,646 deaths were caused by burns and injuries related to fire in 2015. Often fires start at night, when family members are asleep. A working smoke alarm will cut the chances of dying in a fire in half. Be sure that you know what to do in case of a home fire.
7. Natural and Environmental Incidents
Disasters are front-page news even though lives lost are relatively few compared to other unintentional-injury-related deaths. Weather-related disasters claim hundreds of lives per year. NSC encourages families to learn all they can about emergency preparedness, and always have an emergency kit on hand.