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Kicking It with household accidents

Elizabeth Youngman-Westphal

Special to The Village News

When hard facts are unavailable, all too often, “they say” becomes the fall back for unsubstantiated facts; like, “most accidents happen within a few miles of the home.” Truth be told, upon a closer look, it just may be the home that is causing the harm.

And that is why staying uninjured can be a challenge. Need I point out, none of us want to look out the rear window of an ambulance on a mad dash to the ER?

Here are spaces around the house which can cause serious injury.

At the top of my list is the kitchen. For me, it is filled with the most household dangers. Starting with my personal nemesis, the stove. As witness to that proclamation, my forearms are covered with permanent tattoos from those searing hot oven racks. But wait. There’s more. I wear scars from skillets spewing volcanic oil at me and wounds perpetrated by cauldrons of boiling spaghetti water that aimed blistering pops of water at my hide.

Even the innocent looking microwave has scorched my fingertips by reheating a cup of coffee.

Yet, for me, the worst danger lurks from a kitchen knife. Every Sunday in this house, a grinding noise warns of the weekly knife sharpening. It only takes an accidental touch to a knife edge to cause distal phalange gore.

As you can tell, the probabilities for kitchen injury are unlimited. They cover a wide range of perils from retrieving a spoon out of the insinkerator to skating through a puddle of melted ice.

Still, not to be overlooked, is the possibility of dropping a dish. Have you noticed how invisible shards of glass just lay in wait for an innocent bare foot?

Other items that should require a warning label include meat forks, vegetable peelers, spear-headed-wooden skewers, and lethal-fingertip-shredding cheese graters.

Bottom line, the kitchen is a very dangerous place. Which is a good reason to eat out. As a kitchen veteran, I am still waiting for a medal.

Just the same, other rooms can be dangerous, too. Although by simply plugging in a night light along the bathroom trail, or installing grab bars inside the shower can eliminate wailing sirens caused from untimely bathroom accidents.

Naturally, “they say” to keep walkways clutter free and to always use a handrail. Had I done so, I wouldn’t have tripped downstairs so many times and I surely would have prevented falling up the stairs so many times. But nothing could have prepared me, as “they say,” for the scariest of all falls – meeting my husband and falling in love.

Judy Stanley for President.

Elizabeth Youngman-Westphal can be reached at [email protected].


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