Spring is finally upon us, and after a long winter of hibernation, we are all ready to clean out the clutter and start our spring cleaning. But be careful! With spring cleaning comes the risk of injury, and every year more than 21 million people visit emergency rooms and urgent care facilities as a result of home improvement and cleaning injuries.
Tips for Staying Safe and Healthy During Spring Cleaning
- Make sure stairs and floors are clear of clutter.
- Use a ladder or stepladder, and keep it placed on a flat, solid surface. Someone should be close by to spot you in case you lose your balance.
- Make sure your shoelaces are tied and your pants are not too long or baggy.
- Apply sunscreen whenever you go outside.
- Watch out for poison and dangerous chemicals such as fertilizer, paint, varnishes, pesticides, and other materials that may be accidentally ingested. Do not leave hazardous materials unsupervised near pets or children.
- Use caution when operating a lawnmower. Always wear closed-toed shoes and stay away from the moving blade. Check for rocks and other objects hidden in the grass before starting the lawnmower as these things can get caught in the blades and may be thrown at high speeds. Never use your hands or feet to remove debris from the blade.
- Don't strain yourself while lifting or carrying loads. Lift from the legs, and only carry loads you can see over.
If an accident does occur while you are cleaning or repairing your home or yard, you may want to consider visiting a free walk in clinic. Because only 29% of primary care doctors offer after hours coverage, many people are taking advantage of after hours urgent care available at emergency walk in clinics. If your injury is not immediately life-threatening, it can most likely be treated at your neighborhood health clinic, saving you an expensive trip to the ER.
Between 2003 and 2009, the mean wait time in hospital emergency rooms increased by 25%, with many patients waiting as long as 58 minutes to be seen by a doctor. ERs are often overcrowded, and patients are left in hallways while waiting for a bed to become available. Seeking treatment at a free walk in clinic is also guaranteed to save you money on the typical cost for an emergency room visit, which is around $615.