Spring injuries are inevitable, it seems. With all the excitement of nice weather, most people are just dying to get out and enjoy the outdoors. But, for emergency medical professionals, spring also means an increase in medical calls and emergency room visits. Spring injuries are common because you are probably more active when the weather gets nice. Spring is also a time to mow your lawn, take the motorcycle out for a ride, or do some much needed gardening. So, you are at higher risk of obtaining a spring injury when engaged in these activities. Here are some tips and points to help you stay healthy and safe this spring.
Most Common Spring Injuries
Just as popular as spring injuries are their causes. Let’s take a look at the most common causes of injury at Spring time and some tips on how to avoid them.
The lawn mower is one of the most common sources of spring injuries. While its intent is to keep your lawn finely manicured, the lawn mower also has the potential to cause some serious trauma. Follow these tips to avoid lawn mower injuries:
- Make sure you get your lawn mower a yearly tune-up. Having a mower that is in good working order can help lower your risk of injury. It will require little maintenance to get it going and you are less likely to end up in a bind when trying to fix one of its parts.
- NEVER reach under the mower deck. This may seem like an obvious piece of advice, but you would be surprised how many people end up in the ER with hand and foot injuries from the spinning mower blade. If your mower gets clogged, stay away from the blade while the machine is in operation.
- Keep children away from your lawn mower. Although it might be a family tradition to how on the lawn mower with grandpa every year, giving the kids the impression that its okay for them to be around it can lead to a dangerous outcome. Plus, in a split second, lawn mowers can lead to significant injury and even death in children.
- Be cautious of objects in the way. Your best bet is to clear out your lawn before you even take your mower out of the garage. Rocks, branches, and even toys can be turned into projectiles that are launched at rocket speeds and cause serious injury to those around.
- Wear protection. It’s important to protect your face and eyes when you are mowing the lawn. Mowing comes with numerous risk of eye injury and more.
Another one of those spring injuries that seems to be too common is caused by falls. Trimming trees, cleaning gutters, and painting houses are some common outdoor spring chores most homeowners perform. And, if you aren’t used to heights, they can lead to a dangerous fall. Here are some tips to stay safe:
- Choose a solid, firm surface to secure your ladder and lead it against a solid, sturdy wall. Most falls are the results of a shift in the ladder. If you are working around mulch or moist soil, create a base that can help anchor your ladder. Ideally, you should never climb a ladder without someone there to hold it while you work. Talk to a family member or friend about giving you a hand before that major outdoor project.
- Don’t reach! Another common cause of falls occurs when people reach too far from their midline and lose their balance. You should stay in line with the ladder to avoid shifting or slipping. Keep your body vertical. If you need to reach, do it the right way and move the ladder.
- Keep the ladder, and your shoes, dry. Many falls are the result of wet shoes or wet ladder surfaces. Keep a towel nearby to dry any areas that may get wet while you are working.
- Remove any hazards. Before you climb the ladder, check for any potential hazards and clear them out of the way. If they are not moveable, see if you can use the ladder from another direction or angle. You show never put yourself at risk for something you can avoid.
Just like lawn mowers, tools can be a seriously dangerous problem. For tool lovers, spring injuries are common. New tools, a garage full of gadgets that haven’t been touched all winter, these are some reasons tool lovers are ready to spring into action when the warm weather rolls around. Since a wide range of tools means a wide range of potential injuries, here are some tips to stay safe:
- Make sure your tools are in good working order. Just like the lawn mower, electric tools need to be maintained. Check the cords. Watch for exposed wires, frays, and breaks. If you notice something, have it checked and/or repaired by a professional.
- Know how your tool works. Check the safety features. Inexperience is a major cause of injury. Get to know your tool before you use it with full force.
- Never bypass safety features. Although it may be easier to operate your tools when you remove the safety features, you are putting yourself at risk. Many serious spring injuries come from disengaging the safety features put in place to protect you. They may take a little more effort, but they do keep you safe.
- Keep children away from power tools and sharp tools. Period.
Spring injuries can often be avoided. Although you may be excited for the change of season, take the necessary time to properly prepare yourself when it comes to safety. It’ll be the difference between spending time in the emergency room and making the most of your time outdoors.