June is national safety month sponsored by the National Safety Council (NSC). This year’s theme is “Safety: It Takes All of Us” and focuses on informing the public on steps they can take to reduce their risk of getting in an accident. When everyone does their part, accidents can be avoided.

Each week the NSC focuses on a different safety topic:

  • Week 1 – Preventing Prescription Drug Abuse
  • Week 2 – Stopping Slips, Trips, and Falls
  • Week 3 – Being Aware of Your Surroundings
  • Week 4 – Putting an End to Distracted Driving

Prescription drug abuse is one of the fastest growing causes of injury deaths, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Every year, more than 22,000 people are killed in the U.S. because of these types of overdoses. Since 1999, prescription drug overdose deaths have quadrupled.

The NSC urges patients to avoid sharing prescription drugs with friends and relatives, as a large number of prescription drug deaths happen this way. The NSC also encourages patients to fully disclose all medications to their doctor – many individuals are prescribed multiple medications from different doctors that could cause severe reactions.

Slips, trips, and falls are also a leading cause of unintentional injuries in the United States – causing approximately 8.6 million emergency room visits. Adults aged 55 and older are especially at risk. Slip, trip, and fall accidents are often preventable, and caused by factors such as debris in walkways, slippery floors, and uneven surfaces. Avoiding these types of accidents can be as simple as clearing debris from walking areas, cleaning up spills, and making necessary repairs to uneven or cracked surfaces. For more information, visit the NSC’s guide to preventing slips, trips, and falls.

Being aware of your surroundings can help you avoid potentially dangerous situations. Hazards can be anywhere, and knowing where to look could save you from a serious injury. Especially at the workplace, the NSC encourages individuals to focus on the task at hand. Even a minor distraction while completing a task could result in serious injury. Everyone can take simple steps to be aware and reduce their accident risk – things like using extra caution on stairs and near doorways and looking up rather than at your cellphone while walking.

Distracted driving kills over 3,000 Americans every year and injures many more. Distracted driving isn’t just cellphone use, although that is widely regarded as one of the most dangerous forms of distraction. Distracted driving is anything that takes a driver’s eyes off the road, hand(s) off the wheel, or attention off the situation at hand. Take the pledge to avoid texting while driving and reduce the length of time you spend doing other things that could distract you while driving, such as changing the radio station.

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