Spring Cleaning Lands Many Americans in Hot Water
Doctor provides tips on how to avoid some pitfalls associated with the season
SUNDAY, May 15 (HealthDay News) -- As Americans head toward attics, roofs and yards to freshen things up after the long winter, experts warn that spring cleaning can lead to a spring visit to the hospital.
In 2010, more than 35,500 people injured themselves on a stepladder, and more than 41,000 suffered injuries while gardening or using gardening equipment, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. In addition, over 127,000 were injured while using a lawnmower.
"Spring cleaning can bring on many injuries for a variety of reasons. Specifically, people tend to do too much too soon," orthopedic surgeon Dr. Michael A. Flippin, a spokesperson for the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, said in a news release from the academy.
"Many common injuries -- including tendonitis, sprains, strains or breaks -- can be prevented with proper technique, like bending at the knees when lifting instead of from the back, or securing and stabilizing a ladder before climbing. These are simple precautions that are overlooked too often," he added.
For those ready to start their annual clean-up, the academy offers the following advice:
- When lifting, separate your feet and bend at the knees. Lift with your leg muscles.
- Avoid prolonged repetitive motions -- for example, doing the same thing over and over again while gardening -- by varying your activities and resting in between.
- Wear protective gloves and clothing when gardening and cleaning.
- Invest in a sturdy step stool instead of standing on a chair or couch when cleaning hard-to-reach areas.
- Make sure a spotter is with you when you're on a ladder and don't lean over too far in either direction: your belly button should never go beyond the ladder's sides.
- Kids under 12 years of age shouldn't use a lawnmower, and they shouldn't use a ride-on mower until they're 16. People of all ages should wear proper footwear when mowing the lawn.
- Take breaks, drink water and keep a cell phone with you so you can call for help if you're injured.
For more about ladder safety, visit the American Ladder Institute.Randy Dotinga SOURCE: American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, news release, April 28, 2011 Related Articles
- Health Tip: Preparing for a Tornado
March 12, 2014
- Repeat Drug Overdoses Raise Risk for Hospitalization, Ventilator Care
March 11, 2014
Learn More About Sharp
Sharp HealthCare is San Diego's health care leader with seven hospitals, two medical groups and a health plan. Learn more about our San Diego hospitals, choose a Sharp-affiliated San Diego doctor or browse our comprehensive medical services.
Copyright © 2011 HealthDay. All rights reserved.