Preventing injuries is an important way to improve our overall health and wellness. Even a small injury can have long term impacts on our ability to live, learn, work and play.Many of us think that injuries are a result of 'accidents' that cannot be avoided; in fact, most injuries are predictable and preventable. When an 'accident' happens, most of us realize it could have been prevented: "If only I had been more careful", "If only I had taken my time", "If only I had followed the rules", "If only I had used the proper equipment".
Preventing injuries and promoting safety is an important part of protecting ourselves and those around us. Making small changes to the way we think and the way we do things can make all the difference.
Tips for Staying Safe and Preventing Injury
- Clear the floor. Remove tripping hazards inside and around your home. Check Health Canada's website for more information.
- Helmets for heads. A properly fitted helmet can decrease the risk of serious head injury by over 80%. This means that four out of five head injuries could be prevented if every cyclist wore a helmet. Helmets are also recommended for skateboarding, scootering, rollerblading, skiing, and snowboarding.
- Get in gear. Use the proper equipment for the task at hand. For example, wear safety goggles when using a power saw or tool.
- Dress to be seen. When walking or biking, wear brightly coloured clothing so drivers can see you during the daytime. At night, wear reflective tape on your shoes, cap or jacket to reflect the headlights of the cars coming towards you.
- Safety checklist. Before starting even a short trip in bad weather, check your car's lights, heater, wiper blades, antifreeze and gas tank.
- Don't be dull. Make sure your kitchen knives are kept sharp. A dull knife can slip and cause injury, and can also cause a worse cut.
- Charge up. Check the batteries in your smoke detectors at least once a year.
- Face first. Always walk on the sidewalk. If there is no sidewalk and you have to walk on the side of the road, always walk FACING traffic.
- Take your time. Whether you are changing a tire, painting a house, or moving furniture, taking your time can prevent injury. Rushing leads to carelessness and errors.
- Buckle up! Everyone should wear seatbelts. Make sure children are in size and age appropriate certified car seats or booster seats.
- Going hunting, hiking, boating or fishing? Before you go be sure to tell someone where you are going to be and when you will return. Make sure to follow safety precautions such as wearing a Personal Floatation Device while fishing or boating.
- Practice safe lifting and carrying. Lifting should be limited to objects small enough in size that they can be held close to the body. Use your thigh and leg muscles, not your back, as you lift in one smooth movement.
- Sit up straight! When you are sitting at your desk, avoid injury by positioning yourself properly at your computer. Your screen should be two feet away from you.
Check out these links for more information:
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