Spring Clean Your Home Safely

May 21, 2011

It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood. Ready for some Spring cleaning?

After our brutal winter, nothing is more refreshing than clearing your home of dust and clutter, but you need to be careful while doing it.

Thousands of homeowners injure themselves during their annual Spring clean-up. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in 2010:

*More than 35,000 people were injured while using a stepladder last year.

*Over 41,000 Americans were hurt while gardening or using gardening equipment.

*More than 127,000 injured themselves while operating a lawn mower.

“Spring cleaning can bring on many injuries for a variety of reasons. Specifically, people tend to do too much too soon,” said orthopaedic surgeon and American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) spokesperson, Michael A. Flippin, MD.

“Many common injuries including tendonitis, sprains, strains or breaks can be prevented with proper technique like bending at the knees when lifting instead of from the back or securing and stabilizing a ladder before climbing. These are simple precautions that are overlooked too often.”

Here are some safety tips from the AAOS for Spring cleaning the safe way:

* Proper techniques for lifting, carrying and bending should be part of any spring cleaning project to avoid back injuries: Separate your feet, shoulder-width apart and keep your back upright and bend at the knees while tightening the stomach muscles. Lift with your leg muscles as you stand up; don’t try to lift any object by yourself if it is too heavy or an awkward shape.

* When gardening, avoid prolonged repetitive motions during activities such as digging, planting, trimming and pruning and take frequent breaks.

* Use a sturdy step stool instead of a counter or furniture – such as a chair or the couch – when dusting high, hard-to-reach areas.

* Ladders used for chores – such as washing windows, painting, cleaning gutters and trimming trees – should be placed on a firm, level surface. Never place a ladder on ground or flooring that is uneven, soft or wet.

* Use care with extension cords: be sure they are properly grounded. To avoid tripping or falling, do not drape extension cords across spans of crossing walkways.

* When working on a ladder, over-reaching or leaning too far to one side can make you lose your balance and fall. Your bellybutton should not go beyond the sides of the ladder. Never climb a ladder without a spotter.

* When mowing the lawn, be sure to wear proper footwear and eye wear for protection:

* Use a mower with a control that stops it from moving forward if the handle is released. Never pull backward or mow in reverse unless absolutely necessary – carefully look for others behind you when you do.

* Children should be at least 12 years old before they operate any lawn mower, and at least 16 years old for a ride-on mower.

* Read product labels for proper use and wear protective clothing and gloves when using chemicals for gardening or cleaning. Store all chemicals at the appropriate temperature, which is usually indicated on the package – in a place that is out of reach of both children and pets. Never place chemicals into unmarked containers or containers labeled for a different substance.

* Take frequent breaks and replenish fluids to prevent dehydration.

* Keep a cell phone within reach in case of accident or injury.

Be safe and clean well. Tune back in tomorrow to Chicagoland Real Estate Forum for more tips on Spring cleaning.

Categories: Education, Remodeling

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