Whether it is from illness, old age, or unintentional injuries, death is a part of life that is unavoidable.
The top five causes of death in 2010, according to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) study, were diseases of the heart, cancer, chronic lower respiratory diseases, stroke and unintentional injuries. In each category, CDC researchers estimated the number of deaths that were potentially preventable.
Lack of Vehicle Restraint Use, Motorcycle Helmet, and Exposure to Occupational HazardsThe importance of seatbelts and child safety seats is constantly emphasized, and with good reason. According to the Association for Safe International Road Travel, nearly 1.3 million people worldwide die in road crashes annually. Unfortunately, many people do not use seatbelts or child safety seats. Often this is because of the misconception that air bags will provide the necessary restraint and protection in the case of a crash. Air bags are not a substitute and are most effective when used in addition to a seat belt.
The CDC states that seat belts reduce serious crash-related injuries and deaths by about half. If you are the assigned driver for a school or church trip, make sure that each seat in the vehicle has a functioning seatbelt. You should also meet with any group leaders or chaperones beforehand and create a plan to ensure all passengers are using a seatbelt. If there are children requiring a car seat in the group, follow these five tips to ensure proper installation and use of the car seat. Leaders should always wear a seatbelt as well. This sets a good example and ensures their own safety.
Motorcyclists should always be encouraged to use helmets and other protective safety gear.
*Check with your local conference for specifics on insurance coverage of motorcycles.
Unsafe Consumer ProductsCompanies often need to recall a product due to a defective piece, danger, hazard, or fatal chemicals in the product. It is important to always be aware of any recalls on items, especially if the product can potentially lead to serious injury and/or death. Check the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission website (http://www.cpsc.gov/en/Recalls/) for news on recent recalls and more on unsafe consumer products.
Medication ManagementIt’s important to keep all medications in a safe place under lock and key to avoid the accidental use of drugs and other substances, especially by an unsuspecting child. A recent article from CNN states there is an increasing number of calls to poison control center hotlines regarding children younger than 12 who have ingested hand sanitizer.
All medications, prescriptions, and substances should be stored in a safe place that is out of sight and out of reach from young children. Opt for non-alcohol based products or sanitizing wipes to avoid incidents like those reported by CNN. Leaders and chaperones for church and school trips must have a list of all those attending the trip who require some form of medication. Designate one person to be in charge of administering and storing all medications to reduce chances of over use or confusion.
Unsafe Home and Community EnvironmentsAccording to the Health and Safety Authority (HSA) slips, trips, and falls are the second highest single cause of workplace injuries and more than 1,400 of these incidents were reported to the HSA in 2014. These kinds of injuries and accidents are often related to unsafe home, work, and community environments.
Reduce chances of injury and liability by implementing a few simple ideas at your local church and school. Post clearly visible signs when floors are wet. Keep all high-traffic areas free of clutter and possible trip hazards. To avoid potential injuries, encourage your local school or church to form a list of daily protocols, especially when cleaning up or setting up for any event.