There is a reason the phrase “home sweet home” is so popular. Most people think of their house as a safe haven from the dangers of the outside world. When you’re home, you are protected from everyday hazards like car accidents or slips and falls in a grocery store.
St. Louis personal injury lawyers know that accidents can happen anywhere, including your home. Here are just a few household dangers that may lurk in your house.
Falls are a leading cause of injury in the U.S., and one out of every five falls results in a serious injury, such as a traumatic brain injury or a fractured hip. If you have stairs in your house, you and your loved ones are at risk of sustaining a serious injury. Children and the elderly are especially vulnerable.
A study published in the journal Pediatrics revealed that 932,000 children were hospitalized for falls on stairs between 1999 and 2008.
If you have stairs at home, make sure they are in good repair and well-maintained. Homeowners with babies and young children can also install stair gates that prevent a child from accessing the stairs.
2. Laundry Detergent Pods
Laundry detergent pods are small and brightly colored, which makes them particularly attractive to children.
According to Safe Kids Worldwide, there have been over 32,000 incidents of children ingesting laundry detergent pods since 2012.
To put this in perspective, at least 30 children each day need medical attention after swallowing a detergent pod. Because the detergent inside the pods is so concentrated, it can cause serious injuries. Children have suffered breathing problems, vision loss, and severe burns.
Furniture tip-overs are a major household hazard for young children. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) reports that one child dies every two weeks in the U.S. due to a furniture tip-over.
Another 25,400 children are injured each year in tip-over accidents. When televisions and heavy pieces of furniture are not anchored to the wall, they can easily tip.
Because children are naturally curious and prone to climbing, they may scale furniture in an attempt to reach a toy, change a television channel, or simply explore.
Although the CPSC maintains strict standards for toys that contain magnets, the same safety standards do not apply to magnets designed for and marketed to adults.
Small magnets, such as the kind commonly found in desktop “stress relief” games and toys, can be deadly when ingested. There have been numerous cases of children suffering life-threatening injuries after swallowing a magnet.
Small magnets can stick together in the intestines, leading to bowel perforation and other gastrointestinal injuries.
5. Throw Rugs
It’s hard to imagine how something as seemingly harmless as a throw rug could pose a significant risk of injury. However, research shows that rugs and loose carpeting are a leading cause of slips and falls in the home.
Researchers analyzed all injuries treated in emergency rooms between 2001 and 2008. Of the 37,991 adults treated for falls, 54 percent fell because of a carpet and 45 percent fell after tripping over a rug.
In most cases, patients fell in the bathroom while stepping from a carpeted surface to a non-carpeted surface, such as tile.
St. Louis Personal Injury Law Firm
Are you wondering whether you need the help of a personal injury attorney?
If you have been injured in an accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and other damages. Talk to a St. Louis personal injury lawyer to learn more about your rights.