Malevolent ghosts are scary to think about, but plenty of real-life situations can strike terror in your heart. Many dangerous situations in everyday life can lead to lasting harm or even death if you don’t know how to prepare for them. Others might have financial repercussions that could set you back and leave your wallet feeling unstable. While you’re celebrating all things spooky this season, try to prepare yourself for these seven common scenarios.
Choking is terrifying, but it’s a reality — especially if you have a child at home. Around one-third of juvenile choking deaths can be attributed to food. Knowing how to do the Heimlich maneuver, which you should do if someone can’t speak or breathe, can help save lives. Watch out for the signs of choking. Even if you hear someone cough or clear their throat, it’s better to be vigilant than apathetic.
Furthermore, you should always chew your food well. If you have a child, teach them to chew their food about 20 times before swallowing it. Doing so can eliminate the possibility of swallowing chunks of food that haven’t been chewed well and can get stuck in their windpipe. Eat your food slowly — you deserve enough time to enjoy your meal, so don’t rush yourself.
2. Broken-Down Car
Cars with seemingly nothing wrong with them can break down at the drop of a hat. If you aren’t very car-savvy, you must learn how to identify the problem and call for help. Some resources, like the American Automobile Association (AAA), will tow your car anytime, no questions asked, with their Roadside Assistance plan. All you need to do is have their phone number in your phone.
If you prefer to figure things out yourself, you’ll need to learn the basics of cars. For example, you should know the age of your battery so you know when to expect it to expire. Prepare yourself for emergencies by packing jumper cables and other necessities in your car. Also, learn how to recognize what kind of smoke signals something abnormal. Typically, light white smoke is water vapor and entirely normal.
3. Panic Attacks
Panic attacks are very real and close to home — you likely know someone who has had a panic attack, even if you haven’t experienced one yourself. While they aren’t exactly life-threatening, they can feel like it and leave you worn out for hours or days following. Since a panic attack can last for around 20 minutes, it’s best to know how to handle them.
Try to focus on things that activate each of your individual senses. By diverting your attention elsewhere, you can ground yourself in the present. Practice mindfulness and keep yourself aware of your surroundings. Know that this feeling will pass eventually and that you’re not dying, and you’ll feel a little comfort. Learning how to deal with your panic means you’re teaching yourself how to survive different situations, life-threatening or not. Once you’ve calmed yourself down, you can deal with the situation.
4. Bad Habits
Having bad habits like smoking cigarettes and drinking excess alcohol won’t kill you immediately, but daily choices can cause harm over time. Regular use can lead to complications like liver failure or lung cancer. Blacking out while drinking can also be horrible for you, since you likely won’t remember what you did, thereby damaging your memory.
5. Stuck in an Elevator
Being stuck in an elevator can feel like the end of the world, and it can happen at any time. The best thing you can do is remain calm. Most elevators have a panic button that will contact authorities and get the elevator moving again in no time. Your main job should be to keep people calm and staying still rather than jumping or getting their nervous energy out somehow.
If the elevator is at home, you have a bit more control over its care. Keeping up with regular maintenance once a year or more can help you avoid a scary situation. When dealing with mechanisms in your home, you should always ensure they’re maintained well and upgraded when possible.
6. House Fire
Even the littlest things can cause a house fire. Leaving the house unattended while the dryer’s going is just one example of something you overlook that might severely impact your life. Even the sunlight shining through the window on a flammable fabric or container could start a fire. When in doubt, secure your house when you leave.
To minimize the risk of a house fire, make sure to check and clean your appliances regularly, including your lint screen and dryer vent. Unplug everything not in use, and close the curtains or blinds when you leave. You can also acquire a fireproof box to safeguard all your important documents from harm.
7. Facing Distractions
When you’re distracted, you never know what might happen. Around 14% of American adults have bumped into someone or something while being distracted on their phones. You could fall down the stairs or trip into something, risking injury or even death. Knowing how to survive different situations means tackling anything that might jeopardize you.
When you’re walking around, pay attention to your surroundings. Enjoy the breeze and sights of the outdoors. Plus, looking up will allow you to stay aware of the people around you, just in case anyone could pose a threat to you or your loved ones. Distractions could lead to death or other kinds of harm, so it’s best to pocket your phone until you’ve arrived at your destination.
Avoiding Dangerous Situations in Everyday Life
The most important thing you can do in a difficult situation is to remain calm. Learning about dangerous situations in everyday life can help you keep your eyes and ears open for anything that might pose a risk to you. While you shouldn’t live your whole life afraid of these spooky situations that can lead to destruction, you can still watch for anything that might seem amiss and protect yourself and your loved ones. Now, you’ll know how to handle or avoid these dangerous situations.
Beth is the Managing Editor and content manager at Body+Mind. She shares knowledge on a variety of topics related to nutrition, healthy living, and anything food-related. In her spare time, Beth enjoys trying out new fitness trends and recipes.