Home Safety: General | Choking and Suffocation | Drowning | Falls | Fire/Burn | Poisoning
Home Injury Prevention
Home injuries are unintentional injuries that affect all ages and include Choking and Suffocation, Drowning, Falls, Fires/Burns, and Poisoning. Falls are the leading cause of hospitalizations in Arkansas and cost $220 million in 2010 alone**. Injuries from fires/burns and poisonings have been rising in Arkansas over the past few years. With appropriate safety measures and supervision, many of these injuries can be prevented.
General Home Safety
A variety of resources are available to help improve general home safety, including Safety Baby Showers. Fact sheets are available for a number of home safety topics, including Home Safety Checklists for Children and for Older Adults, general information on Healthy Aging, and other topics.
Choking and Suffocation
Unintentional choking and suffocation injuries are most often due to inhalation or ingestion of a food or nonfood item that leads to blocked breathing. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Arkansas has one of the highest rates of choking and suffocation-related deaths.
Young children are at the greatest risk for drowning and are most likely to be injured in the home, while older children and adults are at risk for water-related injuries in open bodies of water such as lakes and rivers. According to Safe Kids Worldwide, 80% of children who drown in the home are under the age of 4 with bath tubs, toilets, and swimming pools posing the greatest drowning risk.
As the leading cause of home injury deaths, falls impose an enormous burden on the individual and the health care system in Arkansas. Older adults are at the greatest risk for falls. Several evidenced-based injury prevention programs have been shown to improve balance and mobility to reduce the risk of falls.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Arkansas ranks as the 2nd highest state in the nation for deaths due to residential fires. The Burn Center at Arkansas Children’s Hospital is the only burn center in the state. Burn prevention, smoke detectors and fire escape plans are all aimed at reducing injuries and deaths from fires.
Poisonings include unintentional ingestion of medications and misuse or abuse of over-the-counter and prescription medicines as well as household exposures to chemicals and gases. According to the Arkansas Poison Control Center, approximately 23,000 poison exposure incidents occur each year, making unintentional poisonings the second leading cause of fatal injury for Arkansans ages 15-64. Many resources for preventing unintentional poisonings are free of charge.
*Spanish version available
**Unless otherwise noted, data describing the impact of injuries on Arkansas is from the Arkansas Department of Health.