There are around 6,000 deaths in the UK each year as a result of accidents in the home, according to the Royal Society for Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA).
The most likely to be injured at home are children under five and people over the age of 65, with falls accounting for the highest number of accidents. And, while you might expect the kitchen or garden to be the room where accidents are most likely to occur it is actually…. the sitting room!
Figures for this year are likely to be much higher due to the increasing numbers of us who are staying at home during the Covid 19 pandemic. Yet, with the NHS facing huge pressures right now and private practices like ours diverting all our resources to assist with the pandemic, now is not a good time to get injured if you can help it.
Joe Wicks (The Body Coach) Case Study
Most surgery has been cancelled for all but the most serious of injuries, such as that sustained by internet Body Coach, Joe Wicks recently. It was reported in the press this week that Joe has had to undergo two lots of surgery on his hand following a serious cycling accident. He initially fractured his hand at the end of March after falling off his bike.
But, Joe later described how his hand became inflamed and extremely painful after possibly developing an infection. Even with such severe symptoms, Joe was forced to wait for surgery, at Kingston Hospital in London. After being put on an IV drip to ease the pain and undergoing further surgery he shared a heartfelt message thanking the “incredible” NHS staff and saying his thoughts were with frontline healthcare workers.
Joe Wicks was able to undergo surgery due to the severity of his injuries and the risks posed by a possible infection. However, for less serious injuries treatments that are routinely being offered during the lockdown include casts and traction. If you need surgery, you may face a long wait.
RoSPA has recommended a number of policy changes to reduce accidents in the home, from education for school age children through to designing safer homes.
In the short-term, however, it is down to each of us to be safety conscious during the lockdown and do what we can to avoid becoming injured. This might involve supervising young children carefully and discouraging them from high risk activities like tree climbing.
It might mean taking a look at your home and identifying any trip hazards, particularly if there are older people in the household. More people at home means there is a greater risk of things being left lying around rather than being put away. Try to ensure that you tidy things like toys away so people can’t fall over them.
If you are exercising at home, be careful and don’t overdo it. Follow a reputable instructor and pay attention to how they are doing the exercise to avoid injuring yourself due to poor technique.
You are more likely to feel relaxed at home which might lead to you not paying such close attention to health and safety as you might do at work. If you are doing activities like DIY or gardening, follow the proper safety procedures, including wearing boots and gloves and not doing too much.
What to do if you injure yourself
If you do injure yourself, try resting the affected area and using ice, compression and elevation to reduce swelling. However, if the injury is severe it is important to seek urgent medical help and not to continue using the injured limb.
During the current crisis, stay at home, stay safe and follow the Government guidelines.