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Falls, bumps and bruises, oh my! test your injury IQ

By: Vanessa McGrady

We all know accidents happen. And though there was simply nothing you could have done to avoid tripping over the cat when she darted into your path, there's another class of accidents that is entirely preventable.

When you put safety first in your home, you help yourself, your family and your friends avoid preventable injuries. These incidents can, in some cases, result in hefty medical bills and long-lasting aches and pains.


Think you've got a high accident IQ?

Take this quiz to find out.

  1. The top three preventable fatal injuries are poisoning, car accidents and falls. True or False
  2. The top three nonfatal injuries are falls, poisoning and bites/stings. True or False
  3. The rate of home injuries has increased during the past 20 years. True or False
  4. We know that cell phones cause distracted driving accidents, but most jurisdictions don't have ways to accurately track injury data from these incidents. True or False
  5. Most injuries occur off the job, when people are on vacation or doing errands and chores around the house. True or False
  6. A pool alarm is one of the best ways to prevent accidental drowning. True or False
  7. Most of the time when an older person falls, it's because of their declining eyesight and health. There's not much that can be done to prevent these incidents. True or False
  8. Boys suffer from concussions more than girls. True or False
  9. It is never okay to get children to take their medicine by telling them it's “candy"—even if that's the only way they'll get it down. True or False
  10. The Heimlich Maneuver is an outdated way to remove an object from a choking person's airway—there are newer, more effective ways. True or False



  1. True. According to the National Safety Council, these top three accidents account for 83 percent of all preventable deaths. Drug overdoses are counted as poisoning.
  2. False. The top three nonfatal accidents are falls, being struck by something (such as a a ball) and overexertion. Falls account for 32 percent of all nonfatal injuries.
  3. True. Home injuries have increased 150 percent since 1999. Poisonings and falls top the list.
  4. True. While different states use different measures to track traffic accidents, there isn't a national standard of data to fully understand the real causes of crashes, making it difficult to institute policies to lessen or eliminate accidents stemming from distracted-driving.
  5. True. Nearly 170,000 people died from injuries sustained while not working in 2017.
  6. True. Pool alarms and covers significantly reduce the risk of a child drowning. The good news is that pool-related injuries have decreased in the last several years.
  7. False. Balance and strength exercises, the proper eyeglass prescription and removing clutter are some of the ways seniors can avoid falls.
  8. False. Though being struck by another person or object is the leading cause of injury or people ages 15-24, girls are more likely to suffer a concussion from sports-related injuries.
  9. True. Many overdoses and poisonings in small children are because they've been told medicine is candy so they seek it out. Tell them exactly what the medicine is and what it is for, and that they are only to take it when a trusted adult administers it.
  10. False. The Heimlich Maneuver is a tried-and-true way to help someone who is choking. Only use it on someone who is conscious and unable to breathe. If you don't know how, get trained so that you don't cause further damage.


How'd You Do?

1-4 correct: Study up, buttercup. Do a home audit for any safety hazards, and consider taking a class on First Aid and CPR from your local Red Cross. You could help save a life!

5-8 correct: You have a pretty good injury IQ, but it might help to regularly read through the National Safety Council's website and social media feeds for tips and valuable safety information.

9-10 correct: You have a genius injury IQ! Share the knowledge by talking to your friends and family members about safety at home and on the road. Perform a regular safety check around the home to keep it clear of clutter and potential accidents waiting to happen. And don't be afraid to speak up when you see someone else engaging in unsafe behavior.


Vanessa McGrady is an award-winning journalist, social media strategist and communications professional. But wait, there’s more! She’s also been a playwright, actor, producer and voice-over artist. She can sing “Home on the Range” in Yiddish, which is apropos of nothing.

She is the author of Rock Needs River, a memoir.