First-Aid: General Safety Measures with Ceiling Fans and in the Bathroom


Whenever a ceiling fan is installed for the first time or after repairs, let it run at the highest speed for several minutes. Any defect in the roof hook or in the fan bolt that might cause the fan to fall will show up. During the test, no one should sit in the region where the fan might fall while spinning.

Pedestal and table fans should have a grill in the front and the rear, small enough so as not to allow a child to put his finger through to touch the blades. Children should be warned of the dangers of the rotating blades of a fan.


Never pull a chair from underneath a person trying to sit on it. The unexpected fall from even about half a metre (18 inches) could fracture his thigh bone and also injure the spine, neck or head if he hits a piece of furniture or a wall nearby.

Never put a pencil or anything sharp underneath a person trying to sit on a chair. It can lead to serious bleeding and may require an emergency operation.

Another item of personal safety concerns the clipping of nails. While pressing the nail-cutter, one should close the eyes momentarily till the nail is clipped and lands on the ground. Sheared nails act as very sharp, tiny missiles which can badly injure the eyes. They travel very fast and do not generally give the eyes a chance to close.

After using a needle, keep it threaded. Such a needle is easy to handle and, should it fall down, it will be easy to retrieve and locate.

Besides kitchen forks, knives, scissors, can and bottle openers, etc. there are other items in the household that are sharp and can hurt, if not properly handled. Some of these are razors, sewing needles, geometrical instruments, and dissection instruments used by biology students.

Other potentially dangerous household tools are hammers, chisels, screwdrivers, etc. Add some of your gardening equipment and one has a virtual arsenal in the house ! Children should be properly taught which of the above things to use and how to use them. Sharp toys like bows and arrows, darts, etc. also need special attention

Keep all toxic consumer products in their original containers. Keeping them in cups, milk bottles, mineral water, soft drink bottles, etc. can result in their accidental ingestion which may prove harmful.

Common domestic items which may cause injury

Plastic bags are everywhere nowadays. These are used for packing and carrying items, waste bags, etc. and come in all sizes. These should be kept away from children as they can suffocate, if they wear plastic bags over their heads and faces as hoods. Tiny tots may even put them in their mouth and choke.

Close all cupboard doors and table drawers after the job is done; otherwise children running around, and elderly persons with impaired vision, can get severely hurt.

Keep walkways approaching the house, and the steps outside the house, as well as all open courtyards, free of slippery areas caused by wetness or algae growth.

If there is a full length clear glass door in the house, put some decoration on it so that people know that it is a door and not an open passage to walk through.

Repair any frayed or worn out edges of rugs/carpets and other floor coverings so that no one trips over them.

If you serve alcoholic drinks at a party, do not leave bottles outside. Empty all partly consumed glasses immediately after the party so that children cannot get to them. Even a small amount of alcoholic drink can cause brain damage and may also prove fatal to a small child.

Firearms and their ammunition should always be kept under lock and key. This is absolutely necessary so that children, intruders, and irate, impassioned family members cannot get to them.


Place a non-skid bath mat near tubs and showers to keep the bather from slipping in the wet area.

A dry mat is advisable just outside the bathing area (shower or bathtub), so that after a shower, the person steps on it and not on a wet floor where he may slip.

Buy shampoo, hair oil, etc. in non-breakable plastic bottles. However, if breakable bottles have to be used, store them properly so that they will not be easily knocked over even when handled with soap in the eyes, especially by children.

Tiny tots can drown in a bathtub or a bucket containing water. They will try to hold on to the rim to pull themselves up and then lean forward to play with the water. A child in this situation is likely to fall into the bucket and drown before anyone notices the accident. Hence, either bathtubs or buckets should be emptied immediately after use or, if buckets are used to store water, they should be kept in a locked or secure kitchen / bathroom, or on a higher shelf.

Do check the temperature of the water in the bathtub before putting a child in it. Ensure that the child will not turn the hot water tap on by himself when in the bathtub.

Handbars should be installed on the walls adjoining the bath tub and toilet for children and the very old / sick to provide support.

Electric heaters should be wall or ceiling mounted. Electrical connections should be at adult height.

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