Many adults may feel they’ve taken the proper precautions to avoid injuries, but accidents happen, and you can never be too safe. There’s potential for a fall, laceration, or skin puncture in almost every room in the home, and outside. That’s why it’s critical to understand what the most common adult injuries are, how to prevent them, and the best ways to treat them.
Injuries in the Kitchen
Generally, the kitchen is a place of comfort. It’s the spot where families come together to make age-old recipes and share meals. It’s also the room of the house where machinery resides. The kitchen is filled with sharp objects such as knives and other cutlery, bladed food processors, and graters. It’s easy to accidentally move your hand a few centimeters while grating cheese and slice open your finger, or reach into the sink and graze a knife. You can also get small burns from the oven or toaster oven if you’re not careful.
To avoid injuries, take precautions in preparing your meal. Tidy your kitchen before you start cooking and keep a small fire extinguisher nearby, just in case. Wash your knives and utensils, and put them away as soon as you're done using them. Keep a clean dish towel close by to wipe spills so there are no slips, and a stool handy to reach tools on high shelves.
Wounds From Cleaning
Weekly cleaning can include small hazards and minor injuries, too. These can be burns and rashes from hot water and harsh chemicals, or abrasions and lacerations from sharp objects. For example, you may accidentally cut yourself on a shard of broken glass while trying to sweep it up. Or, a family member may step on a missed piece.
It’s critical to understand what the most common adult injuries are, how to prevent them, and the best ways to treat them.
To safeguard against these mishaps, watch out for wet surfaces and warn others in your home when the floor is wet. Ensure chemicals are stored properly, and caps tightly closed. If you’re using a ladder to reach high shelves or the tops of doorways, make sure it’s placed on a stable, smooth surface, and locked in place. Keep floors clear of unused toys, shoes, or other objects to avoid tripping hazards. Pick up large fragments of broken glass with gloves, sweep up smaller slivers, and vacuum the area to collect what you’ve missed.
Home Maintenance Traumas
There always seems to be something to fix in your home, whether it’s peeling paint or overgrown hedges. These tasks typically involve tools such as ladders, hammers, saws, and lawn mowers.
Unsafely using ladders can lead to falls. Use the correct height ladder for the job, and move it prevent overreaching. Power tools have various blade attachments that can lead to severe lacerations. To avoid this, purchase quality tools, regularly inspect and perform maintenance on them, refrain from wearing loose clothing while using them, and utilize protective equipment. Lawn care and yard work require similar precautions.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 3 million older people are treated in emergency departments for fall injuries every year. Falling can be caused by deteriorating eyesight, hearing, reflexes, and lower body weakness. Other contributing medical conditions include diabetes, heart disease, and nerve or thyroid problems. It’s also easy to lose your balance on loose rugs, or trip over clutter.
Falls can cause broken bones, fractures, and brain injuries. To prevent falling, it’s critical to stay active and exercise regularly, keeping your muscles strong. Testing your eyesight and hearing annually will ensure you have the best prescription glasses and hearing aids. Additional measures include getting enough sleep, standing slowly, using an assistive device to walk, limiting your alcohol intake, and knowing the side effects of your medication.
Getting bit by a dog is often unexpected. It can happen suddenly when you’re petting one, or result from being chased by several, out of nowhere. There are several precautions you can take to lessen the likelihood of being bitten, however.
Understanding a dog’s body language is an important way to reduce the risk. When a dog is seconds away from biting, it may try to make itself look bigger or smaller, depending on their temperament. They often show a mixture of body postures, indicating they feel fear, aggression, or anxiety. Do not approach a dog who is barking, growling, sleeping, eating, or chewing on a bone. It’s best to stay away from dogs you don’t know.
How to Treat These Injuries
Depending on the severity of the injury, you’ll either need to go to the hospital or a plastic surgeon’s office. The most important thing to remember is to call immediately after the injury occurs. Contact Dr. Anthony Buglino at (516) 864-0700. You’ll want to get your laceration looked at as soon as possible to minimize risk for scarring or infection.
Dr. Buglino repairs lacerations, skin punctures, complex wounds, facial traumas, abrasions, road rashes, and burns. He specializes in suture removal, scar revision, and laser treatments. Check out his work on Instagram. He can also speed up the wait time at the hospital, or save you the trip, by treating you at his comfortable Woodbury, NY office.