U.K. Study Highlights Home Hazards

June 7, 2001

A survey by the U.K. ‘s Department of Trade and Industry highlights the number of serious, and often fatal, accidents which occur in British homes each year, many of them from trivial and unsuspected causes, which could be prevented, if people were more careful.

While fires, carbon monoxide poisoning and do-it-yourself accidents led the survey’s tally, a number of accidents were caused by less obvious hazards. An average 55 children a day suffer scalding burns mainly from pulling over tea cozies. Every year the U.K. records injuries to nearly 6000 people as a result of trying to pull up their pants, while an average 10,773 are injured by accidents involving socks and tights.

Children are particularly at risk, as, in addition to perils from burns, they frequently stick pieces of sponge and other items up their noses, wrap scarves, ropes, and other items around their necks and pay less attention generally to household hazards.

The findings, which are reported in New Scientist magazine, also recorded that last year 1,810 people were injured by walking into tree trunks, 1,171 in accidents involving leaves (mainly slipping), 311 had to be treated for injuries from falling over bird baths, and 3,421 were hurt by incidents involving clothes baskets.

76 people are killed in home accidents each week, according to the survey, more than die in automobile accidents. The BBC quoted a department spokesman as saying that the report “does show how easy it is to have an accident in the home with the most harmless of items. They can cause serious injuries.”|”u.k., study, highlights, home, hazards

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