This column appears in the Nevada Appeal Wednesday’s health pages. It addresses topics related to the health of our community.
June is National Safety Month. Keeping ourselves, and those around us, safe is a responsibility we all must take seriously. As we go about our day, many of us encounter hazards that could place us at risk for accident or injury. While some of these risks are small and we go about our routine without incident, it’s important to be aware of steps we can take to make sure we get through the day safely. At home and at play, keeping safety in mind can often help prevent accidents.
Personal safety starts at home. It’s important to have smoke detectors on every level of your home, especially near sleeping areas. Check your smoke detectors to ensure the batteries are working, and replace them regularly. Also, make sure you have functioning fire extinguishers. When you go to bed or leave the house, make sure candles and space heaters are extinguished or turned off.
Avoid slips, trips and falls by putting non-slip strips in the tub, shower or on slick floors to reduce your chance of accidentally slipping and injuring yourself. Additionally, make sure walkways and stairs are free of clutter that could become a tripping hazard.
Keep and store poisons and chemicals in their own separate area away from food and out of reach of children or pets. Make sure all chemicals and medicines are accurately labeled to prevent accidental ingestion. It’s a good idea to store anything poisonous in a locked cabinet, as some chemicals can be harmful to breathe or even touch. Make sure you follow the manufacturer’s instructions to avoid injury.
When you leave home, safety should still be on your mind. Recreational safety is an important concern and being injured during a leisure activity isn’t fun. We often think about safety for children, but it’s also important to be safe as adults. Wearing appropriate safety gear is one of the easiest ways to protect yourself in the event of an accident.
Gear is available for sports ranging from bike riding to rock climbing to water sports. However, simply strapping on a helmet or some pads might not be enough. It’s important to make sure your gear fits correctly and is undamaged at the time of use. Poorly fitting or damaged equipment may not only give you less protection, but might actually make any potential injuries worse. Check with coaches, knowledgeable sales people or equipment manufacturers to find out what equipment is recommended and tips for proper fit. If you’re in an accident while wearing your protective equipment, make sure to inspect it for damage. In some cases, damage might be hard to spot so a good rule of thumb is to replace a helmet if it’s involved in a crash.
For resources and information about Carson City Health and Human Services programs and services, check out our website at www.gethealthycarsoncity.org, “like” us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/cchhs, follow us on Twitter @CCHealthEd, call us at 775-887-2190 or visit us at 900 E. Long St. in Carson City.