header print

Treating the 10 Most Common Home Accidents

Everyone knows that most accidents happen at home, which is not surprising. Our home is where we spend most of our time. We cook our meals there, we spend time with our family, and we lay down our weary heads after a long day. All of these activities increase the likeliness of getting hurt, which is why it is important to know how to deal with each of these injuries. The tips below will introduce you to the most common injuries and the proper way to treat them. Remember: acting quickly and correctly can greatly reduce the chances of complications.

 
Household Injuries

1. Stepping on a sharp object

Whether it’s a nail, a screw, thorns or splinters, if it’s lying on the floor – you might step on it and get hurt.

What to do

  • Inspect the injured spot to make sure there is nothing left in the wound. Remember that even if you wore shoes when it happened, you’re not completely protected, because the object might have passed through the sole and into your foot. It’s also wise to check the shoe for holes too.
  • If the object left no traces in the wound, wash your foot with soap and water to prevent infection, and bandage the area. If you have a disinfectant or antibacterial ointment, use it.
  • If there is a piece of the object still stuck in your foot, try prying it out with a disinfected needle. Make sure not to force it, you don’t want to exacerbate your injury.

When to see a doctor

If you can’t remove the object or you suspect that there is still a piece left in your foot, go see a doctor. This advice also applies if you’ve stepped on a rusty object and have not had a tetanus vaccination in the last five years, or if the area is becoming more painful or warm over time.

 

2. A bleeding cut

Cuts are one of the most common of household injuries, and can happen anywhere and while doing anything around the house: cutting salad, opening a tin can, or falling down.

What to do

  • Stop the bleeding – Apply pressure on the spot using a towel or a clean piece of cloth in order to stop the bleeding. If you have a first-aid kit available, grab a sterilized bandage. Keep holding the spot until the bleeding stops. If the cut is on either hand, raise the injured hand just above chest height to slow down the blood flow to the area.
  • Clean and disinfect the cut – Use soap and water to thoroughly clean the wound, and then apply a disinfectant on it. Next, bandage the wound to prevent future infections.

When to see a doctor

Visit your doctor if the bleeding won’t stop, or the cut swells and feels hot to the touch, or if you think there’s a foreign object in the wound. Additionally, if you were cut by a metallic object and did not receive a tetanus vaccine in the last five years, rush to the ER to get vaccinated as soon as possible.

Household Injuries

 

 

 

3. Burns (oil, scalding water, steam)

Many home accidents happen when we come in contact with a heat source in the kitchen, while washing our hands, or getting too close to steam or boiling oil. The outcome is often minor burns (1st and 2nd degree), which heal after a short time. However, there are actions you should take to prevent scarring and a prolonged healing period.

What to do

  • Wash the burn in cool, running water to cool down the area – Place the affected area under running water for 15 minutes to cool down the skin, which will also reduce the level of pain. Do not use ice as it shrinks the blood vessels in the area and may even cause frost burns.
  • Bandage the area – After washing and cooling the area, bandage it to prevent infections and reduce the pain. Do not use cotton bandages as they may adhere to the area.
  • Apply pain relief ointments on the area – Should you still experience tingling or discomfort, use known pain relievers such as Aloe Vera.

When to see a doctor

In any case of burns where the patient is suffering from difficulty breathing, or if the burn is larger than the size of your palm, a visit to the doctor is a must. In any other case, if the burn doesn’t show signs of healing, causes severe pain, appears swollen, or is infected, contact your family doctor for advice. Furthermore, if the burns are in the vicinity of the face or near the joints, you should consult with your doctor as these areas’ healing process is more complex.

 

4. Bee sting

Open windows and doors may summon unwanted house guests, such as bees. In most cases, the bee will fly out on its own, but if you or your child have been stung, it is important to act quickly.

What to do

  • Locate the sting and remove it right away, preferably by scraping it with a blunt object like your credit card. This is done because bees have a small amount of poison in their stingers and removing it quickly will minimize exposure to it. Avoid using tweezers or your fingernails – it may perforate the poison sac in the stinger.
  • After you have removed the stinger, wash the area with water and soap, then place a cold compress on it. You may also use painkillers to prevent swelling.
  • Raise the stung body part to minimize swelling.

When to see a doctor

If the person is exhibiting signs of allergies, such as swelling or difficulty breathing and swallowing, visit your doctor. If the area remains red and itchy for more than 48 hours, you may want to contact your doctor too.

Household Injuries

5. Loss of consciousness

Sudden loss of consciousness can be triggered by illness, as a reaction to fear and panic, or as a result of general feeling of faintness. In the majority of cases, the unconscious person will wake up on their own within a short period of time, but if you suspect that the loss of consciousness was caused by illness, if the person wakes up feeling weak, or if they remain unconscious there are a few things you must do.

What to do

  • Place the person on their back and raise their legs up to a 60 degree angle (you can use a chair).
  • Loosen up any tight-fitting clothing articles, such as neck ties or buttoned shirts, that can make it harder for them to breath.
  • Test to see if the person responds to noise and pain. Try calling their name or applying pressure on their collar bone (not too much).
  • If the person does not regain consciousness after being laid down, begin CPR.

When to see a doctor

If the person does not regain consciousness, call for an ambulance before you begin CPR, or ask someone to call while you’re performing it.

 

6. Angina

Angina symptoms include pain and pressure in the chest, and are caused by tightening of the blood vessels that feed the heart. The pain may project to your lower jaw, shoulders and back, making such pains a clear sign of angina. These sensations can appear after periods of intense activity, such as a workout, and will last anywhere between a couple of minutes to a quarter of an hour.

What to do

First and foremost, help the person lie down and make sure they remain in a state of rest. If you’re feeling the symptoms of angina, get a family member and ask them to call for an ambulance. Avoid moving as much as possible. If another person is experiencing angina symptoms, call an ambulance and make sure they remain rested until the paramedics arrive.

Household Injuries

7. Choking on a foreign object

Choking or wheezing can occur if we inhale while eating, or when a child puts something in their mouth. A person who is suffocating will begin coughing, grip their neck and turn blueish.

What to do

  • Whether you’re feeling like you’re choking or someone else is, the most important thing is to remain calm and try to cough out the object as soon as possible.
  • If the foreign object remains lodged in the airways, perform the Heimlich maneuver:
  • Hug the person from behind their back, with both hands clenched into fists and placed on the other person’s navel.
  • Perform a series of quick squeezes and check to see if the obstruction is cleared between each set.

Click here to see how to perform the Heimlich maneuver on yourself.

When to see a doctor

If the obstruction is not cleared, call for an ambulance while continuing your attempts to dislodge it.

 

8. Electrocution

Electrocution is a life-threatening situation that can cause severe pain, burns, and even death. At home, you may get electrocuted by accidentally pushing something into a live socket, or even by touching a faulty appliance.

What to do

  • Switch off the electric current to the house and use a stick or a broom to remove the person from the source of electricity. Do not touch them directly as you may also be electrocuted.
  • Once the person is away from the source of electricity, check their consciousness levels. If they remain unconscious, begin CPR.

When to see a doctor

If the person remain unconscious, call for an ambulance or have someone call for you while you perform CPR on the other person.

Household Injuries

9. Animal bites

If you were bitten by your pet or someone else’s, there are several actions you should take.

What to do

  • The most important thing is to make sure the animal is vaccinated.
  • Wash the bite with water and soap to clean the area and prevent infections.
  • Next, use a bandage or a towel to apply pressure on the wound for several minutes to stop the bleeding.
  • If the wound is sore, use a cold compress or some ice wrapped in a thin towel.

When to see a doctor

  • Call an ambulance if the person displays swelling in the throat, difficulty breathing, or is feeling extremely weak.
  • If there are any doubts about whether or not the animal is vaccinated, if the wound is very deep, or you cannot seem to stop the bleeding, then rush to the ER.

 

10. Broken tooth

A broken or fractured tooth may occur as a result of a sudden fall, and is mostly common amongst children.

What to do

  • Wash the mouth with water to stop any further bleeding in the gums, and prevent infections.
  • If only a part of the tooth broke off, find the other piece and bring it with you to the dentist for reattachment.
  • If the tooth is completely out, put it in a cup of milk and rush to a dentist to have it implanted back.
Sign Up Free
Did you mean:
Sign Up Free
Did you mean: