Courtesy of Michelle Fontaine, MD, Orange Regional Medical Center
MIDDLETOWN – Cold weather is behind us and our hands have emerged from their mittens into a world with hazards.
During the summer, the emergency room typically sees an increase in traumatic hand and finger injuries. And, it’s not surprising that the surge comes as yard work begins, since lawnmowers are a common cause of hand injuries.
To ensure you cut your lawn and nothing else, taking a few simple precautions can help. Always wear gloves as a first line of defense when operating a mower or other trimming tools. Keep your hands away from blades and the chute at all times. If your mower is clogged, use extreme caution when cleaning it out. Never touch mower blades with your hands, even if the engine is off. Once an obstruction is cleared, the blades may unexpectedly turn and cause serious bodily damage.
Grilling is another culprit. We see slicing injuries not just from basic food prep – which is a year-round issue – but from people using knives improperly. For example, we see people separate frozen burger patties or slice buns in their hands rather than on a table top.
from The New York Times
Avocados may seem harmless, but if you’ve ever peeled and cut one, you know they can be more than a little troublesome. They’re slippery, they’re oddly shaped, and they have that annoying pit in the middle that rarely slips out as easily as you’d like.
These characteristics have earned the avocado a reputation as one of the most dangerous foods to cut. Just recently, the wife of a colleague here at The New York Times was slicing an avocado when she suffered a cut so deep she had to be taken to the emergency room.
Medical professionals and hospitals in the United States don’t track kitchen injuries by ingredient, but anecdotally, doctors say they see a number of avocado-related cooking injuries annually — enough to notice.
As the snow piles up this winter, now is the time to use snowblowers, the quickest way to clear snow from your driveway and sidewalk. However, snowblowers can be dangerous and cause serious accidents. In fact, the most common snowblower injury is amputated fingertips, which results from misusing the machine.
Snowblower accidents typically occur when the snow is heavy and wet or has accumulated about 6 inches or more. Here are important tips to practice snowblower safety this season:
To keep your machine from clogging:
- Work at a brisk pace. The faster the blades and pace, the less likely the snow will stick.
- If heavy, wet snow is anticipated, consider snowblowing several times during the snowfall.
- Some people spray the blades and chute with cooking oil spray. This may help.
Many of us start our holiday preparations by “making a list and checking it twice!” Suddenly, we are overwhelmed by its length. The fact that baking, decorating, shopping, wrapping and travel all come before December 25 can be dismaying. If this describes your current quandary, please continue to read about how you can have a safe and enjoyable holiday season!
The most commonly reported decorating injuries are lacerations, back strains and falls. Luggage-related injuries increased to approximately 75,500 annually, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission. The American Society for Surgery of the Hand (ASSH) reports that holiday hand injuries are caused by carving a turkey, ham or roast and that tendon and nerve injuries are caused during meal cleanup (contact with a sharp knife or a broken glass).
Here are simple holiday tips for ladder safety, luggage transport and meat carving:
Every year, too many people cut their hand while carving a turkey. These injuries can be serious, sometimes resulting in amputation of the finger. Luckily, they are avoidable. Follow these tips to safely carve a turkey this Thanksgiving:
- Never cut toward yourself. Your free hand should be placed opposite the side you are carving toward. Don’t place your hand underneath the blade to catch the slice of meat.
- Keep your knife handles and cutting area dry to avoid slips. Good lighting around the cutting area is also important.
- Keep all cutting utensils sharp. Having a sharp knife will avoid the need to use a lot of force when cutting, which can be dangerous. Dull knives are more likely to cause slips and are still sharp enough to cause an injury. If possible, use an electric knife.
- Use kitchen shears to tackle the job of cutting bones.