Domestic accidents: children, adults, the most common, what to do?

Domestic accidents represent more than half of daily accidents (Ac-VC) and especially affects children and the elderly. Its consequences are usually mild, but can be more dramatic, even fatal. We take stock of the main preventive measures and first aid gestures.

Definition: what is a domestic accident?

Burns, falls, suffocation… Domestic accidents are considered accidents of daily life (Ac-VC), also called “unintentional injuries”. They generally occur at home or in its immediate environment: garden, patio, garage and other dependencies.

Good to know: Ac-VC can also occur outdoors (in a shop, on public roads), in a school environment, in the context of a sports practice or on vacation (holiday and leisure accidents). They do not include traffic accidents, work accidents, or suicidesno crimes. Children and the elderly are the most affected. Men are also more affected than women, says a report published by Public health France in July 2021 (source 1).

Some figures in France

  • Every year in France, domestic accidents represent 61% of everyday accidentsAccording to French Federation for the Prevention of Domestic Risks (source 2).
  • This represents approximately 11 million injuries and 21,400 deaths per yearor an accident every 25 minutes.
  • 4.5 million people go to the emergency room and only 500,000 are hospitalized.
  • They’re here 3rd cause of death in France (after the cancer and cardiovascular diseases) and the leading cause of death for children under 15

What are the main risks of domestic accidents?

Most home accidents result in only a few minor injuries. But its consequences can be serious (even deadly):

  • hospitalization,
  • surgical intervention,
  • re-education,
  • permanent sequels,
  • loss of mobility or independence

The most common accidents are:

  • suffocation,
  • drowning,
  • the falls,
  • poisonings,
  • Burns,
  • pinches,
  • electrocutions,
  • to them animal bitesor animal bites,
  • etc.

What are the main rooms of the house affected?

The most dangerous piece is, unsurprisingly, the kitchen : mixers, oven, blades, gas, cooking plates…

comes next the bathroom : risk of drowning in the bathtub, slipping, electrocution with various objects in contact with water, etc.

And the risks are just as important in isolated rooms such as bedrooms (especially for children, who can climb everywhere and eat all kinds of things out of sight (coins, batteries, medicines, etc.). High-tech products and decorative objects present in common areas also can be the cause of accidents.

Anticipation and daily vigilance They are the best allies to avoid domestic accidents. The point, case by case.

Prevent falls and bumps

Falls are the most frequent domestic accident. These are mainly the elderly and very young children. The solution ? decorate your home to secure passageways, windows or stairs (railings, security bars, corner posts, etc.).

Prevent Cuts

The best way to avoid cuts? Store your tools and any sharp objects after use, preferably in a place out of reach of children.

prevent pinching

Children easily get their fingers caught in doors. Remember to keep them closed and teach children not to slam doors and never stick their fingers in door frames. If possible, install wedges or door stops.

prevent drowning

During the summer period, the He drowned It is the most common accident in children. It came quickly and can happen in just 20 cm of water. The solution ? Don’t take your eyes off your children.

prevent poisoning

Toxic plants, household products, medicines… Keep toxic products out of the reach of children, control the plants that grow around your house and do not leave your children unattended.

avoid bites

Dogs, cats, farm animals, and other wildlife can bite or scratch. In children, these injuries can be particularly serious. The best way to prevent them is to teach children -and adults- to respect the limits of the animal, to detect signs of discomfort and not to leave it alone.

avoid bites

If the mosquito bites remain benign, the horsefly bites, hornets or wasps can be much more troublesome. Prefer light-colored clothing, avoid clothing that is too loose, and opt for effective repellants. In case of alarming or persistent symptoms, consult a doctor quickly.

Avoid suffocation and electrocution

These risks mainly concern children, who tend to carry everything, touch everything and put everything in their mouths. Don’t leave small objects lying around and always keep an eye on them. Also consider the plug covers.

Avoid domestic accidents in children

As stated above, to avoid small and large sores and let the child flourish:

  • take care of your son : you are not aware of the risks you run and should always be under adult supervisionnot another child.
  • Invest in safe and age-appropriate equipment (door stops, corners, safety barriers, plug protectors, etc.). just give it toys with CE standardsinvest in furniture that complies with the latest regulations (changing table, car seat, bathtub, stroller, bed, high chair, etc.).
  • Place dangerous objects out of the reach of children. (knives, candles, medicine, etc.) and explain, clearly and calmly, the dangers of the house (ovens, fireplaces, barbecue, bathtub, swimming pool, etc).
  • do not hesitate to seek the advice of professionals : your doctor, a childminder or your pharmacist, etc.

Domestic accidents: protecting the elderly

Health problems, reduced mobility and reflexes… Older people are also prey to domestic accidents. To continue living independently:

  • clear corridors and limit obstacles on the ground that can cause an imbalance: electrical cables, carpets, furniture, decorative objects, garden hoses, etc.
  • bet on non-slip mats on the floor, in the bathtub or in the shower; prefer carpets to floors that are too smooth or, alternatively, choose the right pair of shoes to stay at home
  • properly light the house : accessible switches, lighted stairs, various light sources, etc.
  • Safe travel with a adapted equipment : grab bars, stair railings, stable stairs, etc.

Domestic accident: what to do?

Accidents don’t just happen to others. Even with the best preparation, tragedy can occur. Fortunately, certain measures can reduce the risks. Our advice.

What to do in case of choking?

In case of suffocation by wrong way, act according to the age and condition of the victim.

  • in adults, if her cough is effective, she manages to speak, just watch her. If the cough is ineffective, the person turns blue and clutches his throat with his hands, give him five strong blows on the back, between the shoulder blades, to dislodge the foreign body. Any result ? Opt for the Heimlich maneuver: Stand behind the victim, place your arms under theirs, place both hands over the navel, and brutally compress the stomach by pulling hard toward yourself, going slightly up and back. Repeat the cycle of back pats and thrusts.
  • In children, if they are less than one year old. While you wait for help, sit in a chair, place the baby face down on her thigh. Give five strong blows between the shoulder blades. If the foreign body is not rejected, turn the child onto his back, laying him head down on his forearm and thigh. Place 2 fingers in the middle of the chest and do 5 compressions. Repeat, alternating pats on the back and pressures.
  • In children, if they are more than one year old. Stand on your side, slightly behind the victim. Support his chest with one hand and lean him forward, give him five vigorous slaps, between the shoulder blades. If the foreign body is not rejected, perform the Heimlich maneuver.

Good to know : Do not try to remove an object inserted into a nostril or ear. Take the person to the emergency room in a sitting position.

How to react in case of burn?

  • An extensive burn with blisters. Spray with cold water for at least five to 10 minutes (maximum). If the clothing is cotton, gently remove it while running water over the burn. Call 15 for medical advice.
  • An internal burn. If the victim has ingested a boiling liquid or a corrosive product, call 15 urgently and follow their advice.
  • A burn from electric shock. Disconnect power immediately before touching victim. Call the emergency services, even if there is no apparent signal.

Good to know: Whatever the burn, don’t cover it with grease or ointment. Above all, do not apply ice cubes. Oil, talc, soap, or toothpaste should also be avoided. Also, do not apply an adhesive bandage, cotton, or tissue paper.

How to react in case of a bad fall?

If the victim loses consciousness after the fall, even for a few moments, take her to the emergency room.

If she remains unconsciousturn him on his side, with one leg straight and the other bent (lateral safety position or LSP), to avoid choking if he vomits and notify Samu immediately.

Good to know: In the hours and days after the fall, keep an eye out for signs of head trauma serious: drowsiness, eye problems, motor problems, repeated vomiting…

How to react in case of poisoning?

The reckless ingestion of household products, drugs or alcohol mainly affects children.

  • If the child has ingested medication, call 15 (Samu) indicating the name of the product ingested and the amount ingested.
  • If he has ingested any household product or a toxic plant (berries, lily of the valley, oleander, etc.), take him immediately to the nearest emergency room.

Good to know : do not try to make him vomit or make him drinkthis can drag the product further.

How to react in case of court?

Even if the notch seems minimal, the consequences can be serious: there are a significant risk of infection and, above all, of nerve, vascular or tendon damage. In the event of a major cut, see a doctor as soon as possible. Before going to the emergency room, stop the bleeding compressing the wound with a clean cloth. As for the tourniquet, it is only necessary if the compression is ineffective and the bleeding is really very important.

Free emergency number reminder

  • 15: Samu
  • 18: firefighters
  • 112: European emergency number, accessible throughout the European Union.

Leave a Comment