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Tips on how to avoid injuries while doing household chores

Monday, April 09, 2012

Avoid those household injuriesAs the weather improves and the signs of spring abound, people get the urge to take care of chores such as mowing the lawn, gardening, cleaning the house gutters and painting.

While these seem like simple tasks, statistics show that thousands of people are injured every year doing them.

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, last year more than 127,000 Americans were injured while operating a lawn mower; 41,000 were injured while gardening or using gardening equipment; and 35,000 people injured themselves using a stepladder.

Here are some helpful tips from the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons (AAOS) to prevent injuries while doing household chores:

  • When gardening, avoid prolonged repetitive motions during activities such as digging, planting, trimming and pruning.
  • Take frequent breaks.
  • Ladders should be placed on a firm, level surface. Never place a ladder on ground or flooring that is uneven, soft or wet.
  • When working on a ladder, over-reaching or leaning too far to one side can make you lose your balance and fall. Do not let your bellybutton go beyond the sides of the ladder.
  • Be sure to wear proper footwear and eyewear for protection when mowing the lawn.
  • Use a mower with a control that stops it from moving forward if the handle is released.
  • Be sure all extension cords are properly grounded.
  • Read product labels for proper use when using chemicals for gardening and cleaning.
  • Take frequent breaks and replenish fluids to prevent dehydration.
  • Keep a cell phone within reach in case of accident or injury.

If you have the misfortune to injure yourself, don’t forget about WellSpan’s three urgent care health options: WellSpan Care Express, WellSpan ReadyCare and WellSpan Orthopedics walk-in injury care.

You can use the urgent care finder at www.wellspan.org to help you locate the right option of walk-in case, based on your injury. If you still can’t decide, call (888) 520-5060.


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