Cold temperatures and snow are part of winter here in South Jersey, making it challenging to stay safe and healthy this time of year. Here are some of the most common cold weather injuries and ways to keep yourself and your family safe.
You might feel safe in the comfort of your home, but thousands of people are injured in at-home accidents each year. Fortunately, there are ways to prevent dangerous situations and make our homes safer. Here’s how you can minimize risk in your home and avoid an urgent care visit.
1. Avoid clutter and clean up spills immediately
Clear your floors of clutter to avoid tripping and falling. Keep items such as toys, clothes and books stored properly to guarantee a clear path with no obstructions. Clean up spills right away to avoid slipping.
2. Practice ladder safety
“Avoid standing on tables, chairs or other pieces of furniture to help you access items that are out of reach,” said Kara Telesmanick, M.D., Urgent Care physician. “Ladders and step ladders are always a safer option.” Ensure your ladder is on a stable surface and has the proper weight limit before using it.
3. Keep your stairways accident-free
Falling down the stairs is a common at-home injury, but fortunately, there are ways to secure these areas in your home. To avoid falls, check that your handrails run the entire length of the staircase and that any carpeted areas are secure.
4. Secure your rugs
“When area rugs slide beneath your feet, they can throw off your balance, causing you to fall and injure yourself,” said Dr. Telesmanick. “Ensure your rugs stay put with non-skid pads, double-sided carpet tape or slip-resistant backings.”
5. Keep your shower area safe
If you’re unsteady on your feet, struggle with balance, or are recovering from injury, the shower can be dangerous since it’s easy to slip and fall. Install grab bars in your shower and use non-slip mats in the tub to help prevent serious injury.
6. Keep emergency items on hand
Keep your home stocked with emergency items, including a first aid kit, flashlights, batteries and non-perishable food. Be sure to keep prescription medications labeled and organized and any other necessities on hand for all family members.
7. Check your smoke carbon monoxide detectors regularly
“Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless gas that can cause sudden illness and death,” said Dr. Telesmanick. “Fortunately, you can prevent carbon monoxide poisoning with carbon monoxide detectors.” Check your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors once a month to ensure they’re in good condition.
8. Keep your family safe with baby-proofing and kid-proofing
Ensure your home is safe for all family members, including babies and children. Restrict access to unsafe areas, including cleaning and laundry products. Store these items in a cabinet with child-proof locks to avoid easy access to these toxic substances.
If you’re injured and can’t wait for your primary care physician, Inspira urgent care centers can help. Find a location near you today.
Inspira Health is a high reliability organization (HRO), which means safety is the top priority for patients and staff. To make an appointment, call 1-800-INSPIRA.