When it comes to staying safe, many people believe they can rely on common sense. While this is primarily true for most adults, children do not understand the dangers that surround them, such as safety signage and safety alert symbols and accidents can happen.This is where safety hazards signs make the difference between remaining safe and causing an injury to oneself or others.
At-home accidents account for around 18,000 deaths per year, according to a 2004 report conducted by the Home Safety Council. This results in the home being the second most common location for death after hospitals. Safety hazards include but are not limited to stairs, chemicals, electrical outlets, household appliances, fire sources (candles and fireplaces), toys, and furniture. Safety hazards signs and labels are not suggestions and should be taken seriously to ensure the well-being of oneself and loved ones.
Safety For Children
Children are vulnerable. A plethora of basic household objects can become safety issues, especially as safety alert symbols and safety signage isn’t understood. The second leading cause of death in the household is poisoning. There are often hazardous chemicals in the home that a child can get their hands on.
A hazardous chemical will have the words warning, danger, poison, and caution on the label. These words are meant to act as a dire warning that the contents are harmful and can cause serious injury or death. If your child is old enough, teach them the meaning of safety hazards labels, so they know to never go near the product.
Every day, over 300 children in the United States are sent to the emergency room due to poisoning, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Of these 300 children (ages 0–19), an average of two will die as a result of the poison they ingested. Common chemicals found in the household include but are not limited to:
- Cleaning products such as bleach, detergent, drain cleaners, and toilet cleaner
- Car products such as antifreeze, motor oil, and windshield wiper fluid
- Prescription medications and over-the-counter medications (medications that are not for that child and are taken in excess amounts)
- Nail polish remover/nail glue remover
- Paint thinner
- Alcohol and liquor
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that families keep their chemical products hidden and in a place where children cannot reach. The latest safety concerns are far laundry detergent pods that resemble candy. After a staggering increase in detergent pod injuries and cases of death, the packaging was redesigned to deter children from biting into them.
The unfortunate increase in cases of children eating detergent pods further cemented the importance of safety hazards signs and labels. Safety hazards signs are good for first-time parents. There are so many factors that go into raising a child that little things can be overlooked. Seeing the warnings on products is a good reminder for parents to keep the products out of reach for their child’s safety.
Toys are another possible cause of injury for children. Most toys, if not all, have a choking hazard label on the packaging. This can help parents and caretakers find small parts that need to be taken away or remind them to watch the child carefully during play. Toys with batteries are also a hazard to children. If swallowed, batteries can lodge in the esophagus, causing the child to choke or even causing internal burns.
Sometimes, the screw holding the battery compartment closed can loosen over time, and the child can gain access to the batteries. Without hazard signs, a caretaker may not have thought about the danger that the batteries pose and might not regularly inspect the toys. A well-known poison control sticker is a great resource for caretakers to teach their children about the dangers of poison.
Mr. Yuk stickers are a sickly green color that depict a face making a disgusted face. These stickers have the number to the Poison Control center on them in the case of an emergency. Schools teach children about harmful chemicals and Poison Control. It is important for children to understand the dangers before reaching a school age in order to keep them safe. Place these stickers on hazardous household items as a warning sign to the children that it is dangerous to touch that product.
In recent years, the media has been reporting about the dangers of falling furniture. It is estimated that around 33,000 consumers are involved in tip-over incidents annually. An average of one child dies in the United States every two weeks from tip-over accidents. Furniture and flat-screen televisions have a tip-over warning and manufacturers strongly suggest anchoring the product to the wall. Many families do not heed these safety warnings.
Safety For Adults
Adulthood means responsibility. Having a home requires upkeep all year long for cosmetic and maintenance reasons. Regular maintenance includes making sure there are limited safety hazards in and around the home. There are several products, appliances, and tools that pose safety risks for family members and the home itself. Accidents do occur, but the presence of safety warnings have decreased the number of incidents.
According to the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System, the average number of power tool injuries with older people seen in the emergency room per year is 59,643. Some of these injuries are due to the consumer not having read the safety instructions and warnings. Prevention is the number one key to safety. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says there are an average of 113 deaths per year due to falls from ladders.This figure is specific to occupational deaths, but is easily applicable to at-home ladder falls. Ladders are equipped with safety labels on their side to ensure proper safety and handling. Without the safety instructions on the label, important steps for safety may be missed which could lead to injury.
Common household appliances are another source of safety concern. Appliances such as hair dryers, washing machines and clothing dryers, gas and electric stoves, space heaters, and extension cords all come with safety signs due to the hazard they pose. Several household appliances, like hair dryers, should never be used near water. Doing so can cause an electrical shock that can result in death.
It can also cause a fire to break out. Luckily, the warning labels are typically large and are easily seen on the cord of the appliance. This is so consumers do not miss the warning and use the product in a safe manner. Consumers usually use a hair dryer at the bathroom sink which is concerning if there is running water or the counter is wet. If any product poses a fire hazard, the warning is typically noticeable on the product.
According to the National Fire Protection Association, around 374,000 homes in the United States catch fire each year. Around 40% of these fires are caused by cooking and 16% are caused by heating sources, such as space heaters. Other leading house fire causes are an overloaded circuit board, faulty electrical cord, and dryers. Every single one of these products have safety hazards signs. Warnings are in the owner’s manual and, for some products, are on the product itself. Being informed about the dangers at home will provide a safe place for everyone.
Safety For Seniors
Older people and seniors are the most vulnerable to safety hazards in the home, next to children. The leading cause of injury for seniors at home is falling. Simple warning signs such as “watch your step” can help a senior with their footing to prevent a fall. Chair lifts can be installed to aid seniors with stairs. Although chairlifts are a benefit, they do not come without their own risks. Installing a chairlift is not a straightforward process.
To avoid any mistakes, experts advise having a professional install the chairlift. Chair lifts come with warnings to wear the seatbelt, instructions on how to properly use the automatic seat lock without injury, and other general information for safe and effective operation. When bathing, seniors have an increased risk of falling due to slippery surfaces. Non-slip bath mats are a great investment, not only for seniors, but for people of all ages. Installing rails in the bathtub and next to the toilet will decrease the risks of falls as well.
Although there are no physical safety warnings in home bathrooms, safety warnings, and tips are often spread by health care facilities and medical professionals. Seniors (and other people of various ages) on blood thinners have safety warnings about certain foods and activities that come with their prescription. One activity, in particular, is shaving. It is a cause of concern for doctors due to the risk of nicking the skin and bleeding out. Doctors recommend switching to an electric razor or using another hair removal method to avoid injury.
Investing in a few simple safety features, such as taking fall prevention measures, adding non-slip rubber mats in wet areas, installing smoke detectors, and adding emergency pull cords and even quality extension cords with cut out amps, can potentially prevent a hazardous situation and ensure safety for the elderly and even order adults.
Checking out a few extra safety tips on the Internet can make all the difference and significantly reduce the risk of any potential hazards in the home. In addition, safety hazards signs are designed as a preventative measure against unnecessary accidents. The signs and labels inform people of specific risks they face when using a product. Adhering to safety guidelines will significantly reduce the risk of injury, fire, and even death in extreme cases.