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Question: Comment this article in 150 words Briefly explain what you learned or experienced. PREVENT ACCIDE…

Comment this article in 150 words Briefly explain what you
learned or experienced.

PREVENT ACCIDENTS

© John W Travis MD, MPH

Commonsense safety is easily overlooked as an integral part of a
personal wellness program. A person may exercise extreme caution
about diet, yet be quite lax in attending to accident
prevention.

Most accidents — both in the home and on the road — are easily
preventable. No training is needed to put on a seat belt in the car
or to buckle up young children in a car seat, but these simple
gestures can save lives and dramatically decrease the chances of
severe injury. It only takes a minute to ask your doctor or
pharmacist to check your prescription and over-the-counter
medications for possible adverse drug interactions. Over half of
all prescriptions dispensed annually are taken incorrectly, and
drug errors account for increasing numbers of deaths in hospitals
and nursing homes. You already know many ways to prevent accidents,
since most of it is basic good sense. Yet the complications and
pressures of modern life may cause you to put these safety
precautions low on your list of priorities. The memory jogger below
encourages you to take action where you need it.

A Safety Survey
Jot down what you already know about each of the items listed
below, or go over this list with your spouse, your children, or a
friend, and use it as a basis for discussion.

What I know about safety and wellness with regard to:

icy sidewalks and steps

the use and maintenance of stairs and handrails

slippery floors and movable area rugs

wet, slippery surfaces, especially bathtubs

children’s access to prescription or over-the-counter drugs

out-of-date prescriptions or over-the-counter drugs

seat belts and air bags

automobile tires, wiper blades, and antilock brakes

car seats for children

the speed limit

driving or operating machinery while under the influence of
alcohol or drugs

escape plans in case of fire either at home or away

overloaded, improperly fused electrical outlets

poorly protected electrical wires

the use of electrical equipment near water

space heaters

storing cleaning products, medicines, and poisons in homes where
children live or visit

using household cleaning products and pesticides that contain
toxic substances

emergency phone numbers

the accessibility of first-aid supplies

first-aid skills for choking, burns, shock, and so on

protection from high sound and noise levels

safe disposal of paints, paint thinners, gasoline, and oil

children’s toys

This list is not comprehensive. It is a place to start. We
suggest that you add to it by taking a slow walk through and around
your home, looking for safety hazards. Make notes about what needs
to be done to make your home safe. Check off items that need
attention soon. Prioritize your checked items. Take a calendar and
assign, in order of priority, one or more items to this week and
one or more items to each week thereafter, until all obvious
potential hazards have been handled.

If you need more information about any of the items on your
list, your public library is an excellent resource. Consult the
front pages of your phone book, which should have a survival guide
and a list of emergency phone numbers. Call your local Red Cross
for information about safety training.

Reprinted with permission, from Simply Well by John W.
Travis, MD, & Regina Sara Ryan. Copyright 2001. Celestial Arts,
Berkeley, CA.

The online version of Dr. Travis’ Wellness Inventory may be
accessed at (www.WellPeople.com). The Wellness
Inventory may also be licensed by coaches, health and wellness
professionals and organizations.

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