Posts Tagged ‘prescription drug overdose’

Unintentional Injuries: How Can You Protect Yourself?

According to the National Safety Council, more than 145,000 deaths in 2015 were the result of unintentional injuries. Topping the list is poisoning, usually as a result of a prescription drug overdose. Motor vehicle crashes come in second for unintentional-injury-related deaths. Everyone can do their part to make the roads safer by not texting while driving or driving while tired or under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

In terms of unintentional injuries, the elderly are especially at risk for dying from falls or suffocation by choking. Fortunately there are many steps you can take to reduce your risk for falls. Keeping floors clear and uncluttered, making sure indoor and outdoor lighting is sufficient for visibility, installing grab bars and no-slip mats in showers and tubs, and keeping often-used items easily accessible are just a few ways you can reduce fall risk. In addition, staying active and practicing yoga or tai chi can improve balance and coordination, which can significantly reduce your risk of falling.

For more information on fall prevention and protecting yourself from unintentional injury or death, visit the National Safety Council’s website.

June is National Safety Month

white male looking at assortment of prescription drugs

You might not realize it, but injuries, especially preventable ones, are a leading cause of disability. Tragically, many injuries can also be fatal, and according to the National Safety Council, they are a leading cause of death for individuals between the ages of 1 and 44. The most common (and preventable) injuries are caused by prescription medication overdoses, distracted driving and fall-related injuries in the elderly.

Falls are especially concerning for older Americans; the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that as many as 1 in 3 seniors suffer a fall each year and that falls are the leading cause of both fatal and non-fatal injuries in the elderly. Quality of life post-fall can suffer dramatically if an individual has mobility issues as a result of the fall or develops a fear of falling that limits physical activity and social engagement. The good news is that falls are not an inevitable part of aging. Doing strength and stability exercises as you age can help improve balance and make falls less likely. Keep floors clear of clutter and make sure objects like rugs and furniture do not pose tripping hazards. Good lightning, especially near stairs and in the evening, can help too.

If you are worried about a loved one’s prescription medication usage, encourage them to seek help. Visit the National Safety Council’s website to learn more about the dangers of prescription overdoses. Distracted driving is another concerning behavior that could lead to personal or outside injury or death. Turn off your cell phone while you are driving or put it in the glove box out of reach to remove temptation.

Knowing which activities are high risk for injuries and making small, intentional changes in your life and your loved ones lives can help keep you, and others, safe!