Health Minister launches Home Accident Prevention Strategy

Posted by
Tuesday, March 10th, 2015
Community, Politics
Two people die each week in Northern Ireland as a result of an accident in their own homes.

Health Minister Jim Wells

The staggering statistic was revealed by Health Minister Jim Wells as he launched the Home Accident Prevention Strategy for Northern Ireland, which aims to reduce the number of unintentional injuries and deaths caused by home accidents. Speaking ahead of the launch, the Minister said, “More accidents occur in the home than anywhere else and on average, two people die each week in Northern Ireland as a result of an accident in their own homes. “In addition to these deaths, there are approximately 17,000 admissions to hospital each year as a result of unintentional injuries in general. The aim of the Home Accident Prevention Strategy is to minimise injuries and deaths caused by home accidents. “Falls are by far the most common accidents, accounting for almost half of all injuries or deaths in the home (480 deaths over the period 2001-2011), but hazards come in all shapes and forms including poisoning, inhalation of smoke, strangulation by blind cords, drowning and choking.” Home accidents can easily be prevented by being aware of the dangers and hazards that are present in the home environment and putting in place interventions to minimise the risks. The Minister continued, “We may feel safe in our own homes, but hazards and risks are all around and I encourage everyone to take a look around their home tonight and check for any potential areas of danger, including eliminating risks of trips and falls, testing your smoke alarm, ensuring fires and heaters are well guarded, securing blind cords and keeping medicines and cleaning products safely out of the reach of young children.” This strategy is concerned with the whole population but has a particular focus on those who are most at risk. That is babies and children under five, people over 65, and those with greater social, economic and health disadvantage. These groups are more likely to have accidents and more likely to suffer long-term effects as a consequence of an accident.
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