Prevention & Recovery

Avoidable home accidents

Author: Canadian Living

Prevention & Recovery

Avoidable home accidents

There's no place like home, especially when it comes to accidents. Avoidable accidents land people in the country's emergency rooms year after year.

Dr. Tim Rutledge, director of Emergency Services at North York General Hospital in Toronto, joined Balance Television host Dr. Marla Shapiro with tips to avoid unnecessary household mishaps.

Childhood ingestions

At a young age, as children explore their universe, they like to grab things that look good and tasty and swallow them, Rutlege said. Pills, button batteries and other small dangerous objects definitely need to be kept out of the reach of children, he said.

Household cleansers

Besides being locked up, you can have dangerous gases produced by mixing chemicals. "The key message here is not to mix cleansers to try and concoct your own super-cleanser," Rutledge said.

For example, mixing chlorine-containing bleaches with acid-containing cleansers can produce a chlorine gas that can cause significant sickness and even death. Rutledge would recommend using two products such as those mentioned on separate days, but failing that, be sure that you rinse the first cleanser off very thouroughly with water and make sure the area where you're working is properly ventilated.

Falls From Heights

People fall off ladders very regularly, Rutledge said, so you need to use them correctly. Place them on flat services, make sure it's stable and have someone around to spot you when you're working on a ladder.

Eye Injuries

"People are pretty good about putting on eye protection when they work with power tools," Rutledge said. "But what people don't appreciate is that they should be wearing eye protection when working overhead, even changing light bulbs because we can get significant corneal abrasions or foreign bodies in the eye just from dust falling from the ceiling."

Kitchen Knives

The most common cause of household mishaps is kitchen knives, Rutledge said. Rutlege said that cuts are typically found on an injured person's non-dominant hand. That's because they hold the knife in the dominant hand and then cut through a bun or bagel toward the hand holding the bread. Big no-no. Rutlege suggests using a device like a bagel cutter, or at the very least a cutting board, to cut bread and prevent injury.

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Prevention & Recovery

Avoidable home accidents

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