It’s a fact that we have been spending even more time than normal at home this year. Family chores, dad’s “to do” list, and kitchen duties can all lead to injury if we aren’t careful and paying attention. Now is a good time to remind the whole family about ways to prevent hand injuries around the home.
A Little Common Sense
There are 27 bones in the hand including 8 in the wrist. With nerves, veins, muscles, tendons, ligaments, joint cartilage, and fingernails, the potential for injuries from trauma increases. Even the smallest hand injury requires proper medical evaluation, because any injury to the underlying structure of the hand can result in a serious handicap.
Many hand injuries could be prevented by using a little common sense. Not paying attention to what you’re doing while you’re thinking of something else can lead to many hand injuries. One good example is pushing food down the garbage disposal while it is running. Ouch!
Other examples of using common sense include the following:
- Only use unbreakable glasses while riding in a car
- Read the instructions! Some seem to bypass this recommendation, but it’s important. Read instructions before you use hand tools or small appliances.
- Carefully remove can lids from a can opener.
- Always position a knife away from your hand when cutting anything, like an avocado.
- Keep your eyes on what you’re doing especially with power tools.
- Don’t drink alcohol or use meds that will make you groggy or sleepy while you work.
Situational Awareness Is Vital
We normally hear this discussed by soldiers in combat, but it applies here too. Pay attention to what you are doing and where you are doing it. If you decide to undertake some overdo projects, be sure you know what’s around you.
- Cleaning the leaves out of the gutter can be a real problem if the ladder is not positioned just right. Get someone to “spot you.”
- Never use your hands to stop yourself from falling. Instead, try rolling on your arm and shoulder.
- Keep the work area around you uncluttered.
Use The Right PPE
We have all learned a new phrase in 2020: PPE or personal protection equipment. Use gloves and caution when handling heavy plate glass or glass of any kind.
Always use the right tools for each job, power or hand tools.
Use leather gloves, cut-resistant gloves, or chemical resistant gloves for the appropriate tasks. Make sure they are the right size for your hands.
Always use oven mitts when removing hot food from the burner, the oven or microwave to prevent burns.
Many accidents at home can occur by trying to accomplish them too quickly. If you’re rushing to get something done, you can slip and fall, injuring a hand. Avoid distractions and don’t look away when you are using hand tools.
Contact Greater Rochester Orthopaedics at (585) 295-5476 immediately with any painful, swollen, or numb hand injury.