Most of us have or will have at least one personal injury during our lifetime. Sometimes we cannot control what happens, but most of the time we can prevent these injuries from occurring. Keeping ourselves and our families safe, secure, and free from accidents and injuries takes some focused attention to mitigate the risk, minimize life disruptions, and maximize the enjoyment in life. Extreme examples of personal injury due to an accident include the loss of limbs (hands, feet, arms, etc.), sight or hearing which are considered permanent impairments. The most extreme example is death.
You can reduce the risk of personal injuries by giving attention to preventing accidents and injuries in your home, at work, in your auto, or when walking around, Personal safety is another focus area that can help you avoid dangerous situations that can cause harm to you and your family. Being prepared and aware of yourself and your surroundings can help you to avoid bad or dangerous situations.
We live in a world that is full of distractions. There are lots of external stimulation that can take our attention away from the task at hand. We must be aware, know, perceive, feel, and be cognizant of our immediate environment. Being in the “here and now” is critical to doing tasks well. Reduce distractions no matter if you are walking around, driving a vehicle, or talking on the phone.
At home, keeping a pathway clear and free of obstacles is a great way to minimize trips, slips and falls that cause sprains, strains, and broken bones. When working, it is important to work in good posture, use good ergonomics (body mechanics and interacting with your work tools properly), and be safety focused. Be mindful of your footing and observe if the floor is wet, uneven, or if the carpet or rugs are loose. Avoid walking in dark areas and wear your glasses or contacts so you can see properly. Use handrails or walls to stabilize yourself.
One of largest causes of death in Belize is auto accidents. The number of auto accidents increase each year, and most involve men. Keeping autos properly maintained, windows cleaned, wiper fluid filled, brake and transmission fluids filled and updated can all help to prevent an accident. Be cautious when you drive and keep aware of traffic patterns and vehicles around you. You must also watch pedestrians walking and cyclists riding – both motorized and non-motorized – as they can cause you to make quick rash driving decisions that can cause accidents. Keep a safe distance between you and the car in front of you. Overtake safely.
When driving in weather conditions such as heavy rain, smoke or fog, be cautious by slowing down, be aware of what is in front and back and to the sides. Do not use the phone while driving. If you need to use the phone pull over and make your call. Distracted driving is a major cause of auto accidents which can cause permanent harm to you, your passengers, or others in the area.
Never drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Always have a backup plan – a designated driver, someone you can call.
It is up to you to reduce your risk of injury. Sometimes things are out of your control, but your preparation, patience, caution and awareness of your surrounding can reduce accidents. Do your part to maximize your enjoyment in life by minimizing situations that disrupt your enjoyment and happiness.