Accidents in the Home

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Our home is supposed to be our refuge, the place where we retreat after work, a place where we raise our children or spend our retirement. Somewhere we feel safe. Sadly however, the confidence many of us feel in our homes is misplaced. In fact, nearly half of fatal accidents takes place in the home, with millions more people ending up in A&E after being seriously hurt in their house, garden or driveway.

Who is most at risk?

As with accidents elsewhere, it is the young and the old who suffer disproportionately. Every year, 100 children under the age of 5 are admitted to hospital for treatment EACH DAY following an accident in the home. Meanwhile, nearly half of all over 65s who die in an accident every year do so following a fall – the vast majority of which happen in the home.

Where is most dangerous?

Statistics

Statistically speaking, the most dangerous place in the home for both older people and young children are the stairs. Every year, 43,000 children aged between 0 and four have an accident on the stairs – that's almost 120 children every day. Kitchens are also particularly dangerous, with burns, scalds and poisoning major risks for young children.

How can I make my home safe?

The good news is that these accidents don't have to happen. There are simple, practical steps we can take to keep children safe. These include fitting a suitable safety gate, keeping medicines and chemicals out of sight and reach of children (preferably in a locked cupboard), and never holding a child and hot drink at the same time. Older people's homes should be well maintained, and free from tripping hazards like worn rugs, slippery floors or paths, uneven surfaces, trailing wires, and other items left lying around. For more advice, see our home safety advice page.


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