Category : Hand Safety

Burns Hand Safety Hand Therapy

Advice from a Certified Hand Therapist: Protecting Yourself in the Great Outdoors

According to the Outdoor Industry Association, nearly half of the U.S. population participated in some sort of outdoor activity in 2017. Among these activities, hiking and camping were reported to be among the most popular. As we are packing our backpacks and lacing up our hiking boots there are some tips we can remember to protect ourselves from injury.

Take a Hike

  • Ensure that you have the proper footwear – hiking trails often consist of several different types of terrain that can cause falls if you are not prepared. It is important that you have hiking shoes or boots that have soles to help maintain your footing in slippery grass, rocks, mud, snow, or while crossing creeks. A fall could cause injuries to your hands and arms, like cuts, sprains, strains, or fractures.
  • Take along trekking poles or a hiking stick – use of one of these can also help you maintain your balance, keep your footing, and prevent falls.
  • Make sure that you are dressed appropriately for the season – hiking in the winter in particular can present some perils to your fingers. Frostbite is a serious threat when you let your hands become too cold, and can result in injury or even loss of all or part of a finger if severe enough. It is important to wear properly insulated gloves, and to carry a spare pair in case your hands get wet. Pocket hand warmers can also be helpful.
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Hand Hand Safety Knife Safety Turkey Carving

How to Avoid a Turkey Carving Injury

Turkey carving injuries are unfortunately common around Thanksgiving time. 88% of Americans eat turkey on Thanksgiving, which means a lot of carving! Carving isn’t something that most people do regularly, so be sure to read our safety tips below to avoid an injury this holiday season.

  1. Never cut toward yourself. Your free hand should be placed opposite the side you are carving toward.
  2. Don’t place your hand underneath the blade to catch the slice of meat. This is dangerous and unnecessary.
  3. Keep everything dry. This includes your knife handles, the cutting board and the cutting area. This will help you avoid slips.
  4. Only use a sharp knife. A dull knife will require the use of force to cut your turkey, which is dangerous and could cause slips. Your knife should be sharp enough as to not require any force when cutting the turkey. Use an electric knife if possible.
  5. Don’t use a knife to tackle the bones. Use kitchen shears in this situation. They cut bones more easily, and it’s less likely that your knife will slip.
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Hand Safety Hand Therapy Leash Safety

Advice from a Certified Hand Therapist: Leash Safety

One of the benefits of pet ownership is the opportunity to get outside and exercise. A recent survey estimated that over 60 million households in the United States have at least one dog, so it is safe to say that a large number of us are hooking up a leash to walk our furry friends. Improper leash handling can increase risk of injury, particularly to our hands and wrists.

What are some of those injuries?

FOOSH

As we learned in a prior post, a FOOSH is a “fall on an outstretched hand.” Hand surgeons and hand therapists frequently see patients who have lost their footing after tripping on the leash, on their dog, or while walking on uneven terrain. This may also occur when your dog suddenly jerks the leash causing you to fall. One of the most common injuries resulting from a FOOSH is a wrist fracture, which could require a cast or perhaps even surgery.

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Avocado Hand Hand Safety Knife Safety

The dangers of avocado: how to safely slice this summer

from the Daily Herald

As the temperatures rise and minds wander to poolside guacamole and fresh avocado toast, it’s important to be aware of the trending condition sending many avo-lovers to the hospital — avocado hand.

Dr. Leon Benson, a hand surgeon at NorthShore University HealthSystem and Illinois Bone & Joint Institute, has treated a number of patients for serious injuries sustained while cutting and removing the pit of an avocado; including torn tendons and hands that have been impaled by sharp knives.

If you’re an avo-lover, take warning. Even celebrities like Joy Behar and Meryl Streep have fallen victim to avocado hand. It’s important to know how to properly hold and cut an avocado so you don’t get injured by this supermarket booby trap. Below, Dr. Benson outlines his top tips for how to safely slice avocados.

Read the full story.

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ASSH Fireworks Hand Hand Safety

Infographic: 6 Fireworks Safety Tips from Hand Surgeons

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Hand Safety Hand Therapy Lawnmower Tendons

Advice from a Hand Therapist: Lawnmower and Equipment Safety – Tendon Injuries

Summer is here which means more time enjoying the outdoors and working to maintain landscaping. This may mean mowing the lawn, trimming the hedges or cutting down those hanging tree limbs. These activities may require the use of equipment that has very sharp edges. In the summer, hand therapists see many injuries related to these activities. One of those being tendon injuries, which can mean a  cut of the tendon(s) in the forearm or hand that help open and close the hand. Tendon injuries can be very serious injuries, especially if not correctly addressed with surgery and rehabilitation. If you cut yourself and find a lack of ability to move a finger, thumb or wrist with your own power, you should seek medical attention immediately.

Typically, a tendon injury will require surgical repair. Hand therapy then becomes a large part of the recovery. You can find a local certified hand therapist through the American Society of Hand Therapists at www.asht.org/find-a-therapist.

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Gardening Hand Hand Safety Hand Therapy

Advice from a Certified Hand Therapist: The Joys of Gardening Without the Risk of Injury

“The glory of gardening: hands in the dirt, head in the sun, heart with nature. To nurture a garden is to not just feed the body but the soul” – Alfred Austin

Gardening is a meaningful activity for people across the lifespan. It can add beauty and nutrition as well as be an outlet for stress relief and a means of exercise. While it has many benefits, it can also be hard work for the muscles and joints of your hands and arms. Here are some tips and tricks that may help you reduce your risk for pain and increase your joy and productivity in the garden.

Tools

Good gardening tools can be especially helpful to reduce risk and pain associated with repetitive use injuries.

  • Tools with built up handles can reduce the grip strength required to perform activities and protect your joints. Wide handled or ergonomic tools may also be available on the internet or in local shops.
  • To build up the handles of your own tools, pipe insulation can be purchased at your local hardware store.
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Hand Hand Safety Hand Therapy Snowblower Safety

Advice from a Certified Hand Therapist: Preventing Injuries During Snow Removal

The winter months can be a festive and fun time of year; however, they can also bring many hazards that can lead to hand, wrist, elbow or shoulder injuries. Snow shoveling and removal are strenuous and sometimes risky activities that are necessary in these snowy months, and should be addressed with some simple safety measures to protect yourself from potential injury.

Common safety steps to take when addressing snow removal include:

  • Warm up before tackling snow removal – Doing a short amount of light exercise to warm your body prior to shoveling snow can assist in reducing your risk of injury.
  • Wearing gloves with skid resistant material – One simple strategy to combat the snow is to be sure your gloves and/or mittens have a skid resistant material on the palm and fingers. This will allow you to have adequate grip on your shovel to prevent unnecessary slipping of your equipment.
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