Securing Your Medicine Cabinet. If taking medication prescribed by your doctor is part of your daily health routine, it’s important to take proper safety precautions. Many medications can be damaged by heat, air, light, and moisture, so follow medication storage guidelines to avoid affecting how well the medicine works. The best place to store medicine is somewhere cool and dry. Keep young children safe by choosing a storage place that is out of their reach. Keep track of all the medications you take by always having an updated list with information including what you take, how often you take it, what the dose is, and why you take it. Educate yourself about your medications by knowing what questions to ask your doctor. If you’re planning to travel, bring your medication list with you, and keep these travel safety tips for taking medicines in mind. Don’t forget to check all of your medications for expiration dates. If you need to throw out old medications, follow these tips to throw away your old medicines safely.
School + Safety = Smart. As the school year begins, parents and teachers should take some time to brush up on school safety tips and talk with kids about smart safety habits to remember throughout the school day. Getting to and from school safely is important. Make sure your children know about school bus safety and how to walk to school safely. If you pack healthy lunches for your child, be mindful of the food you prepare and make sure anything perishable is kept cold. Follow these tips for keeping “bag” lunches safe. Recess is an enjoyable time of the school day, but remind your children that getting hurt on the playground isn’t fun and share these playground safety lessons with them. Teach kids who stay home alone after school about what to do to stay safe in case of an emergency. Ensure that any play dates your child may have are safe by asking the friend’s parent these 12 important play date safety questions.
Buckle Up! Traveling in a car with a disability can provide tremendous freedom, but there are many safety elements to keep in mind. Many vehicles can be adapted and modified with lifts and harnesses to accommodate wheelchairs and riders with varying physical abilities. These modifications can be costly, but lifesaving and some funding may be available to assist people with those costs. When driving or riding in a motor vehicle, we all know seat belts are a must. But a traditional seat belt doesn’t always work for all passengers. There are after-market harnesses and other modifications that can help adapt an automobile’s safety features to suit every rider’s needs. For children with special needs, there are many specialized car seats available.
Keeping Your Home Secure. It’s important for all homeowners to take precautions to make sure that all residents are safe, including those with disabilities. One of the main dangers in a home is a fire. Homes should haveworking smoke detectors that will alert residents to the possibility of a fire. There are specialized smoke detectors with photoelectric strobes for people who are deaf or hard of hearing. In addition to proper smoke detectors, family members should all be involved in developing an escape plan in the event of the fire. All members of a household should contribute to that plan taking into account their abilities and mobility in that plan. A less common, but just as dangerous, hazard is carbon monoxide. All homes should be equipped with a working carbon monoxide detector that can alert residents to a leak of this colorless, odorless, and deadly gas.Additional strategies for keeping your home safe can be taken to avoid injuries in case of an emergency.
Preventing Personal Crime. In 2013, the U.S. Department of Justice found that people with disabilities were twice as likely to be victims of violent crimes. The best way to protect yourself is to avoid dangerous situations and know how to defend yourself if you’re in them. Review these safety tips to prevent becoming the victim of a violent crime, such as theft or assault. Whether you’re at home or out and about, always know your surroundings and let someone else know where you are. Parents, caregivers or other adults that interact with children with disabilities should also be alert for signs of abuse. Not all crimes are physical – financial scams are crimes, too. All individuals, especially older adults, should know ways to protect themselves from financial scams. If you have become the victim of a crime and need assistance, you can find crime victim assistance in many places across the country. You may also wish to call one of these national hotlines for help. In addition, the State Crime Victims Compensation programs reimburse victims for crime-related expenses, like medical costs, counseling, lost wages and more.