Northern Ireland

Home accidents: Two die every week, says NI health minister

Man tripping on shoelaces Image copyright Thinkstock
Image caption Mr Wells said people should look for potential areas of danger in their homes

Two people die every week in accidents at home in Northern Ireland, Stormont Health Minister Jim Wells has said.

The Department of Health has produced a strategy for preventing home accidents, raising awareness of possible hazards and taking action to minimise risks.

There are about 17,000 hospital admissions each year as a result of accidental injuries, the minister said.

The strategy has a particular focus on children under five, people over 65, and socially disadvantaged people.

Mr Wells said falls were "by far the most common accidents, accounting for almost half of all injuries or deaths in the home".

He said there had been 480 deaths involving falls in the period from 2001 to 2011, but added that "hazards come in all shapes and forms, including poisoning, inhalation of smoke, strangulation by blind cords, drowning and choking".

The minister said many accidents could be easily prevented, and urged people to look for potential areas of danger in their homes.

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