How Housing Structure and Style Affect Health

A home offers shelter, privacy, and security and protects our physical and mental health. A residence that cannot use these basics through adequately developed and appropriately preserved exterior and interiors is not healthy housing. How houses are designed, constructed, and preserved; their physical characteristics; and the presence or absence of security gadgets have lots of effects on injury, health problem, and mental health. Home conditions likewise influence the capability of individuals to take part fully in their neighborhood.


In domestic settings around 18,000 injury deaths took place each year from 1992– 1999 (Runyan et al. 2005a). Unpublished National Vital Statistics System data show that nearly two times as lots of residential unintended injury deaths were reported in 2005. It is approximated that 12 million nonfatal domestic injuries occur each year (Runyan et al. 2005b).

Among kids and adolescents younger than 20 years of age, an estimated 55% of unintentional deaths from injuries take place at home (Nagaraja et al. 2005). Children younger than 15 years and grownups over age 70 years are at high threat for injuries in the house. Amongst children ages 0– 14 years, the leading causes of house injury deaths are fire/burns, choking/suffocation, drowning/submersion, guns, and poisonings.


Falls alone account for 53.7% of all unintended house injury deaths (Runyan et al. 2005a), 36%– 45% of all nonfatal home injuries (Runyan et al. 2005b), and almost 4 million emergency department sees yearly (Runyan et al. 2005b). More than one-third of all adults 65 years of age and older fall each year– with women 67% most likely to have a nonfatal fall than guys (Centers for Disease Control and Avoidance 2006; Rubenstein et al. 2007).

As a result of falls, lots of senior citizens experience devastating consequences such as damaged bones and head injuries (Rubenstein et al. 2007). An approximated 1.5 million fall injuries among children under age 15 years take place in the home and need medical attention each year (Runyan et al. 2005b). Fall rates amongst children under age 5 years are 2nd only to those observed in the senior population (Casteel and Runyan 2004).

Essential fall-related hazards for kids in the home include child walkers, staircases, windows above ground level, and furniture (McDonald and Gielen 2006). Beds have been recognized as the leading product in the portion of nonfatal home injury expenses for kids under age 5 years, followed by stairs, floors, and tables (Zaloshnja et al. 2005). Outdoors play devices, including play sets and trampolines, can also threaten for children. Many injuries happen when a child falls from the equipment onto the ground (MacKay 2003).

Fire and Burns

Real estate design and building and construction products can directly influence residents’ level of injury risk from fires (Krieger and Higgins 2002). In 2006, house fires was accountable for around 2,580 deaths (Karter 2007) and injuries to another 12,925 individuals (not consisting of firefighters) (Karter 2007). Many fire victims do not die from burns, however from smoke or hazardous gases (Hall 2001).

A primary danger element for death and injury in domestic fires is absent or nonworking smoke detector (Ahrens 2004; Istre et al. 2001). Research studies reveal that despite the fact that 90% of homes have smoke alarms, only about three-quarters of the alarms are working (Ahrens 2007; Smith 1993). When a fire takes place in a house with a functioning smoke alarm, the risk for death is decreased by 40%– 50% (Ahrens 2004).

Kids, persons with impairments, and those who reside in hardship and in rural areas are the groups probably to reside in houses without working smoke detector (Ballesteros and Kresnow 2007) and, as a result, to die in house fires or suffer major fire-related injuries (Istre et al. 2001; Warda et al. 1999). Older residents are at specifically high risk for passing away in a smoking-related house fire (U.S. Fire Administration 2006).

Extra groups at high threat for passing away in a home fire include African Americans and people who live in low quality homes where emergency egress is typically compromised (Hannon and Shai 2003).

Scalds and thermal and electrical burns also contribute to home injuries. In 2007 an approximated 38,647 children less than 5 years old were seen in U.S. emergency departments for a burn that happened at home (U.S. Customer Item Safety Commission undated a). Exposure for 2 seconds to water at a temperature of 150 ° F can result in a full thickness burn (Moritz and Henriques 1947). Environmental modifications can, nevertheless, ameliorate much of these scald burn injuries.


Swimming pools represent 60%– 90% of drownings amongst kids 0– 4 years of ages, and each year about 300 children under 5 years of ages drown in pool, usually a swimming pool owned by their family (U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission undated b).

Over half of drownings amongst those ages 5– 24 years remain in the victim’s home swimming pool, and 22% are at the homes of pals, neighbors, and loved ones (Saluja et al. 2006). Amongst babies, the majority (78%) of drownings take place in the house, with 71% of these in tubs and 16% in pails (Brenner et al. 2001).

Suffocation and Strangulation

Kids sustain around 18,000 suffocation injuries each year (Centers for Illness Control and Avoidance 2007b). Over half (60%) of baby suffocation occurs in the sleeping environment (McDonald et al. 2006). Cribs and playpens are accountable for half of all nursery product-related deaths among children ages 5 and under (McDonald 2002). Strangulation deaths from window cables take place usually when children are in places their moms and dads believe are safe, such as in a crib or in a child’s bedroom.

From 1991 to 2000, the U.S. Customer Item Safety Commission received reports of 160 strangulations including cables on window blinds (U.S. Customer Product Security Commission undated c). Deadly window-cord strangulations have a mortality rate of 0.14 per 100,000 persons per year in the United States (Rauchschwalbe and Mann 1997).

Firearms-related Injuries and Deaths

In between 1990 and 2000, an approximated 11,509 unintentional firearm deaths occurred (Miller et al. 2005). Nearly 600 unintended firearm-related deaths take place every year in houses (Runyan 2005a). Studies show that for each 1% increase in the variety of homes in a neighborhood where guns are securely kept, the unintentional gun death rate decreased by 4%.

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