While many of us are doing our best to stay home to prevent the spread of Covid-19, it is equally important to keep the rest of your body healthy as well. This means working to stay safe and injury-free even within our own homes. Your home should be a safe space and as such you probably don’t put a lot of thought into avoiding injury during the short trip from the couch to the kitchen but the risk is still there. After all, you don’t want to be stuck in the ER because you broke your wrist in your own bathtub right? Here are five ways to avoid injuring yourself in your own home:
1. Clear the floor of clutter.
The most common injuries that happen in the home are due to falls. Move that pile of shoes away from the stairs, mop up any spilled water as soon as possible, and keep pets out of high traffic areas like the kitchen. If you have children, consider setting aside specific places where they can use their toys, this way they stay occupied and you don’t have to be on high alert for that toy truck at all times.
2. Keep your kitchen knives sharp.
This one might be a little counter intuitive but sharp knives are actually much safer than dull ones. If your knives are dull then you have to exert a lot more force in order to do the job. In the case of vegetables like carrots which are hard, and like to roll around a lot, this can be an accident waiting to happen if you lose control at any point. Sharpen your knives regularly and store them in an organized knife block so you don’t accidently slice your hand open while rummaging around a disorganized drawer.
3. Be mindful of fires when cooking
Since restaurants have closed their doors no doubt you are cooking at home more than ever. Now is a good time to review all of those fire safety rules you no doubt learned in school. For instance, wear snug fitting clothing, preferably something that covers your legs and arms. You don’t want any hot grease spattering on you, or even worse, an errant fold of fabric catching on the handle of a hot skillet. Additionally, remember that the vast majority of cooking fires are best put out by suffocation, not throwing water on it. Putting a lid on a fire, or simply closing the oven door is much safer and will give you enough time to run and fetch your fire extinguisher (you have one of those right?).
4. Secure any unstable furniture
While this is a bigger problem for families with small children, learning how to walk and climb, it is good idea for anyone to make sure their bookshelf isn’t likely to fall over on them. Perhaps that desk is starting to groan under the weight of all those discarded papers and outdated electronics. Maybe your flat screen television is less “secured” than it is “propped up”. Take this time to make sure your furniture isn’t just one solid bump away from toppling over onto your head.
5. How safe is your bathroom really?
The common bathroom is the perfect storm for personal injury. Think about it: they are small, cramped, and there is often water on the ground. Consider putting non-slip strips or a non-slip mat in your shower or bathtub, use bathroom rugs to prevent those aforementioned pools of water on slippery tile, and install a nightlight so that if you stumble in half asleep at 2 AM you at least have a fighting chance.