The majority of the visits to E.R. are due to accidents that happened at home, especially with small children.
Home: The Most Dangerous Place For Many?
Where do most accidents requiring a trip to the ER occur? At home.
Young children are the ones most at risk, even when they are under adult supervision.
“I have two children, a 4-year-old and a 9-year-old,” said Mariana Pinzón Murillo, a housewife in Veracruz, Mexico. “I usually try to keep an eye on them, yet I know that an accident can occur at any moment.”
Pinzón Murillo remembers such an accident.
“My oldest broke his arm from jumping on the bed, a commonplace situation for many children. We, as adults, tend to think that just because they are lying down, ready to sleep, nothing can happen to them,” she said. “They are children, and such accidents are bound to happen.
“That said, I try to lessen the possibility of getting hurt, such as prohibiting them from entering the kitchen, especially if I am cooking. They are also prohibited from grabbing knives, running inside the house, as well as climbing trees.”
The mother of two considered it necessary to learn how to face these situations.
“I recommend parents learn some basic first aid to know what to do in such situations,” she said.
Although no family member is exempt from an accident within their home, the probabilities increase the more children there are.
Working on prevention means raising awareness to prevent accidents that can leave lasting consequences. Specialists recommend parents educate themselves on how to avoid such accidents and establish safety rules inside their homes.
“The best possible scenario is to prevent accidents before they happen,” said Alejandro Rangel Rojas, a medical emergency technician. He graduated from the Red Cross paramedic school in Veracruz.
Rangel Rojas says family heads must analyze which situations are the riskiest. An example: cover all wall plugs and power cables to prevent an electric shock.
The expert recommends families learn how to cut the electrical supply and close the gas valves to avoid fires when they are not home.
“It is also important that children know what to do if an adult gets injured, as well as that adults know basic first aid,” he said.
To best complement the first-aid skills that adults may have, the expert recommends a well-supplied first-aid kit at home. It could mean the difference between life and death until the ambulance arrives.
Young children should know the basic emergency numbers if no adults are present or incapacitated.
It is also vital to keep bleach and detergents in locked cabinets to prevent children from accidentally ingesting them.
(Translated and edited by Mario Vázquez; edited by Fern Siegel)