Benjamin Franklin once said that “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” While some accidents are unavoidable, there is actually a lot that you can do to minimize risk and be prepared just in case. During National Safety Month, Jersey Physical Therapy is working with community members to help reduce the risk of injuries. This June, we encourage you to learn more about important safety issues and what to do in the event of an accident.
Here are some important safety tips:
- “911” is the universal emergency number for everyone in the United States. However, also write down the poison control number (1-800-222-1222) and keep it next to your home phone. Add it to your cell phone, too.
- Check the expiration date on your medicines. If they are out-of-date, get rid of them!
- Have your vision checked at least once a year by an eye doctor. Poor vision can increase your risk of falling or automobile accident.
- Each year, more than 2 million older Americans go to the emergency room because of fall-related injuries. Keep stairs and places where you walk clear of clutter. Pick up things you can trip over, like papers, shoes, or books. Balance exercises can also help prevent falls and avoid the disability that may result from falling.
- Put night-lights in key areas of your home so you can see where you’re walking. Some night-lights go on by themselves after dark.
- Getting enough calcium and vitamin D can help keep your bones strong and less likely to break.
Make an emergency supply kit
Gather supplies like water, medicines, and blankets. You won’t have time to search or shop for these supplies during an emergency, so put your kit together now. Make sure your kit includes:
- Water for at least 3 days. You’ll need at least 1 gallon of water a day for each person. Don’t forget water for your pets, too!
- Food for at least 3 days. Choose foods that don’t need to be kept cold and that you don’t need to cook – like energy bars, peanut butter, crackers, and canned fruit. Don’t forget a can opener!
- Prescription medicine that you take every day, like heart or diabetes medicine.
- A first aid kit to treat cuts, burns, and other basic injuries. You can make one yourself or buy first aid kits at many stores.
- A battery-powered radio with extra batteries or a hand crank radio.
- A flashlight and extra batteries.
- A whistle to call for help.
Keep your emergency supplies together in a backpack, bag, or easy-to-carry container. Use a waterproof container if possible. Store your supplies in a place that’s easy to reach.
Make a plan
It’s important to make a plan in case your family members aren’t in the same place when disaster strikes. Be sure to decide on an emergency contact – a person that each member of your family knows to call during an emergency.
Print this Family Emergency Plan [PDF – 520 KB]. Sit down and fill it out together so that everyone in your family knows what to do. Ask everyone to keep a copy in their wallet, purse, or backpack.