An accidental injury is an injury that could have been prevented. These can be as small as tripping on a misplaced toy in your house or as tragic as a car crash because of speeding. Injuries are the leading cause of death for Americans age 1 to 44 and a leading cause of disability for all ages. Every year, more than 29 million people suffer injuries severe enough to need emergency room treatment and more than 180,000 people die from unintentional injuries. Most of these unintentional deaths could have been prevented yet they are a leading cause of death in the United States. The three leading causes of unintentional deaths are car or motorcycle accidents, falls and drug overdose.
A major cause of death and disability in the United States are Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI). A TBI is defined as an alteration in the brain function caused by an external source such as falls, car accidents, assaults, sports/recreation injuries, child abuse, domestic violence, etc. TBI survivors face effects that can last days, years or the rest of their lives and can cause impairments in memory, thinking, vision, movement, emotional functioning and neurological disorders.
Accidental injuries do not always cause such sever outcomes, they can be a cut, scrape, or tripping on something or even poisoning. In order to avoid severe, mild, moderate or any type of accident it is recommended to:
- Look for and correct hazards
- Clean up spills immediately
- Secure rugs
- Wipe and clean liquids on the floor
- Use sufficient lighting in all areas
- Install railings on stairs
- Use stair gates and window guards around children
- Use grab bars in bathtubs and showers
- Check your hot water heater
- Keep electronics away from water
- Keep tools and cleaning products out of reach
- Be careful where you put hot liquids
- Keep knives stored securely
- Make sure cabinets are fastened with childproof locks
Another cause of accidental injuries is fires. The leading cause of fires in homes is fires while cooking, especially cooking on stovetops. Other causes of fires are heating, smoking, electrical cords, and candles, especially in homes. Everyone is at risk from fires, especially children the elderly and disable people who may have limitations escaping the fire quickly. Fire survivors can have burns, carbon monoxide poisoning, exposure to toxic fumes, trips and falls.
Accidents can happen when we least expect them. This is why accidental insurance is there for you when you need it the most. It is not expensive and can be supplemental to help pay the expenses not covered by your major medical insurance.