Image by: Public Domain Pictures
By Robert Spencer
What do you think the leading cause of death in 30-year-olds and younger is? Cancer? Diseases and illnesses caused by obesity? Heart disease? Drunk driving?
If you agreed with the last one, you’re partially correct. The CDC recently released a report that stated that the leading cause of death for people who were 30 (and younger) was unintentional injury. Do you know what that means? Your carelessness will probably get you killed. Okay, so I’m being a bit facetious. However, it stands to reason that Darwin’s theory of natural selection is thinning out our young.
So how do we stay ahead of the curve (besides looking both ways before crossing the street)?
So what kind of deaths are we talking about here? Nearly 180,000 people die from preventable deaths every year, including suicide, murder, and unintentional, fatal injuries that could have been avoided. That’s nearly one death every three minutes.
#1) Avoid Risky Situations
The simple solution would be to avoid risky situations all together. But what’s the fun in that? A certain part of being human is being curious about the world around us and that, in and of itself, often means that we take risks to find out more about our world. Curiousity killed the cat, indeed.
Is there scientific proof which indicates that certain people are more prone to risk taking behaviors? A study done in Israel determined that there was a gene which they called D4DR (also called the “risk gene,”). It is more commonly known as the “fourth dopamine receptor gene” which is associated with the limbic portion of the brain. Further studies indicated that it only accounts for about 10 percent of risk-taking behaviors in any person.
You also must remember that risk-taking behaviors are often associated with negative outcomes (doing drugs, doing ridiculous things in order to get adrenaline highs, etc.) but these same behaviors and the chemicals in our brains that give us the same high are also associated with more socially acceptable activities such as a search for more knowledge (AKA going out in the middle of the woods just to see what is there).
#2) Avoidable Deaths: Your Health
One of the causes of avoidable deaths in 20’s is inactivity. Staying sedentary will result in a breakdown of your muscles and an unhealthy build-up of fat. There is no excuse for being unhealthy. Eat right. Get active. Drink a lot of water. It sounds simple when we say it out loud and I’m fully aware that it
#3) Doing Stupid Things
Okay, so it stands within reason that if you stop doing stupid things (if you think before you act), you will be less likely to get caught in a dangerous situation. Don’t drive yourself home after spending your entire paycheck at a bar. Don’t think that you can beat that train off the tracks. Making smart decisions is a something that people take for granted but it is as easy as:
- Think before you act.
What consequences will occur if I make this decision?
Can I handle the repercussions?
Will this cause me or anyone else harm?
#4) A Plan of Action
Sometimes staying safe means that you have a plan of action or a back-up plan. If you have kids, you may already know this. When you have kids, having an action plan means that you’ve talked with them about what to do in case something goes wrong. For example, what do you do if you go to the mall and you get separated?
Have you talked with your wife or girl about her safety? What happens if she gets mugged in an alley? What should she do if she has a closing shift and sees a shadowy figure when she’s headed to her car?
As an adult, having a back-up plan can increase your safety in certain situations as well. Changing a tire at night, in the middle of a city that you don’t know, getting mugged at the airport, or freak accidents. Do you have an emergency contact? Do you have a first aid kit in your car?
Being prepared for dangerous situations is important and is one of the main ways that you can stay out of trouble and out of harm’s way.
Now it’s your turn. What tips do you have for keeping safe? Do you and your family have an action plan if something were to happen at home or while you are out? How do you deal with risk-taking behaviors when it comes to your kids? Why do you think this is becoming an issue now? We’d love to hear your thoughts and ideas in the comments section below. Share your knowledge with your fellow readers.