Cool and comfortable autumn weather has many people prepping their homes for the winter. Cleaning gutters, chopping wood, covering delicate plants, and raking up leaves are annual chores for many. And while we often don’t give these chores much thought beforehand, it’s best that we do.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission estimated that 333,000 people went to the emergency room for injuries related to garden equipment in 2014. That same year, they estimated that 240,000 injuries were caused by falling from ladders or stools.
These injuries can cost a small fortune if you wind up in the ER. The average ER patient pays $1,318, according to the Medical Expenditure Panel survey. However, these astronomic costs and injuries can be prevented by taking the proper precautions.
Be dressed for the job
Layer up when you work outside in the cold. When you’re active and moving, your muscles need to keep warm to keep working properly. Wear gloves in the cold and also when handling heavy equipment, especially materials that are older and may be corroded.
Slips and falls are extremely common too, so wear shoes with proper treads and stability. These shoes should offer good ankle and arch support, especially if you plan on standing for long periods of time.
Eye injuries are also common when performing household chores, so invest in a pair of goggles. Sometimes fragments of rocks can fly back at you, so goggles will protect your eyes from flying debris.
Face masks are also recommended when cleaning out gutters or sheds. Breathing in any mold or dirt from leaves can cause serious illnesses.
Finally, don’t forget to protect your ears when using any sort of power equipment. Leaf blowers, lawn mowers, and many others operate at high volumes, and the sounds can disrupt your hearing.
On the ladder
Ladders can be very dangerous. As said before, always make sure that you’re wearing proper shoes and avoid loose clothing that could be caught on the rungs. Always have a partner to spot you. They should steady the base of the ladder and be able to help you if you need it. In case of emergency, they can also call for help.
When cleaning the gutters, never set the base of a ladder too close to the home. Follow the four-to-one rule, meaning that for every four feet of height the ladder has, the base should be positioned one foot from the home. This will prevent skidding or tipping.
In case of an accident, emergency walk in clinics offer after hours urgent care services, which are especially useful for weekend or after-work chores.
Primary and family care physicians staff the majority of these neighborhood health clinics, and will more than likely see you within 15 minutes of your arrival.
Our emergency walk in clinics in Denver take insurance and offer many of the same treatments as hospital emergency rooms. For the best emergency walk in clinic Denver has to offer, go to AFC Urgent Care in Cherry Creek or East Denver.