Safety First – Preventing Accidental Injuries
How to Avoid Injuries
How much do you think about safety? Sure, we all take precautions not to walk alone in isolated streets at night, we lock the doors to our homes and cars and install alarm systems in them to prevent theft, but how much thought do you put into preventing accidental injuries.
Technology has changed our lifestyles in ways we are yet to adapt to fully, we are now bombarded with information every minute of the day, we have our mobile phones and social media which cause daily distractions, and this could be one of the reasons why accidental injuries are now the 3rd leading cause of death in the United States.
According to data from the National Safety Council an American is accidentally injured every second and killed every three minutes by a preventable event. So, what can we do to reduce the number of accidental injuries?
Our mission at Prestige ER is to create awareness of potential dangers in our everyday life and help prevent injuries when possible. For this reason, we are listing some of the most common injuries we treat and offer some helpful tips on how to avoid them.
These musculoskeletal injuries include sprains and strains from stretching or tearing ligaments, tendons, and muscle tissue from pulling, lifting, holding, carrying, or throwing activities at work, according to The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), overexertion injuries account for more than 35% of all work-related preventable injuries.
Overexertion injuries can occur most often in the lower back, but knees, wrists, ankles, neck, groin, and shoulders are also susceptible.
How to Prevent Overexertion Injuries
- Practice proper lifting techniques such as:
- Keep the item close to your body and lift with your legs, not your back
- Lift heavy objects slowly, don’t use jerky movements as these increase the risk of injury
- Don’t twist your body while picking up a heavyweight article
- If your job involves lifting or moving heavy or bulky items, consider wearing a back-support brace
- Get help with heavy loads
Repetitive Motion Injuries
Another common type of musculoskeletal injuries is those caused by performing the same motion repeatedly thereby straining a body part. These repetitive movements result in damage to the muscles, nerves, tendons, joints, cartilage, and spinal disks.
These types of injuries are common amongst people who have office jobs which require the person to sit for long periods and use computers. Some of the most common injuries include:
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
How to Prevent Repetitive Motion Injuries
- Adopt a good posture while sitting at your desk, for this always remember to:
- Have your feet flat on the floor
- Your knees should be directly over your feet, bet at right angles
- Keep your lower back arched in; your chair should support your lower back if it doesn’t try rolling a towel
- Your upper back should be naturally rounded
- Shoulders and arms should rest at your sides
- Be aware of any tension you may be holding in the back of your neck or upper chin
- Arrange your workstation so:
- You can reach your keyboard with your elbows at your side bent at a 90° angle
- Your mouse should be next to your keyboard to avoid having to stretch or hunch to work it
- Your monitor needs to be directly in front of you, not to the side. Your eye level should be in line with the top of the screen or a little up.
- Your screen should be 15 – 25 inches from your eyes
- Use proper typing techniques by:
- Keeping your wrists straight, this lessens the strain on the tendons and nerves that run through the wrists
- Let your hands float; this means your wrists should not be resting on the desk or the keyboard
- Don’t strain your fingers, in other words, if you need to press a hard to reach key, don’t try to do it by stretching one of your fingers, instead move your hand to get closer to the key
- Stretch and strengthen the muscles in your wrists, arms, back, and neck several times during the day
- Take a break every hour or so, get up, walk around the office for a few minutes, get something to drink, and stretch any muscles you feel are tight
Slips, Falls and Walking into Injuries
Most of the injuries we see at Prestige ER are a result of a slip, a fall or from people inadvertently walking into objects like a glass door, or furniture.
Kids are especially susceptible to this type of injury given that they are so active and are not necessarily aware of their surroundings and possible hazard, in fact, according to the CDC around 9.2 million children end up in the emergency room for non-fatal accidental injuries every year.
How to Prevent Slips, Falls and Walking into Injuries
- Be present. This means you need to pay attention to any task or activity you are doing
- Clearly label or mark potential dangerous areas like stairs, wet floors, and glass doors or windows so that people can identify them
- Entrances and exits should have non-slip mats especially during the rainy season
- Make sure your child’s playground has soft materials that can buffer the impact of a fall; sand, wood chips, and mulch are good options
- Kids should only play with age-appropriate equipment while on the playground
- Remove any obstacles from high traffic areas in your office or home, and make sure there are no rocks, tree stumps or roots poking out of the ground in the backyard or playground.
At Prestige ER, we believe prevention is the best medicine, avoiding an injury is always preferable, but, should you or a loved be injured, our emergency room is the best option for a speedy recovery.
Know Where to Go in the Event of an Emergency
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