Staying safe involves more than just following a handful of tips. Much like staying nutritionally and physically fit, staying safe requires a change of mindset. Experts advise that the first step should be to create an awareness of safety—a safety mindset that helps you avoid accidents.
Safe driving should be at the top of the list. Yes, it sounds trite, but automotive-related accidents remain the biggest cause of accidents, far above other factors. The usual cautions apply: fasten your seatbelt and be aware of speed limits. But this mindset should encompass something more—a keen awareness of the potential threats looming down the road, coupled with an ability to react quickly.
The home environment. The home presents huge potential for financially devastating accidents—everything from fires, falls, and poisonings to firearm-related accidents. Your chances of getting hurt at home are much higher than they are at work or at school.
Take special care to remove paper from around stoves, electrical outlets, and appliances that may cause home fires. Install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in your home.
Parents of toddlers should be especially mindful of placing household cleaning products, insecticides, and even houseplants out of reach of curious hands. More than a million children age five and under are poisoned each year.
Falls are also safety risks. Ask yourself two questions before taking objects off shelves and replacing light bulbs: Are you standing on a firm foundation? Do you have someone to spot you while you’re standing on an elevated surface? Falls kill more people than any other type of accident except car crashes. Falls are especially dangerous for older adults who often have weakened bones.