8 things ER doctors refuse to have in their homes
ER physicians have seen it all. This makes them the perfect people to give advice on safety concerns because they know that even the most random things can cause serious damage
The emergency room staff have seen it all, from the bizarre to the gruesome. This makes them the perfect people to give advice about safety because they know that even the most random things can cause serious damage.
Health.com recently compiled a list things ER doctors revealed they don’t want to have in their homes for safety concerns:
1. Button batteries
These little suckers are notorious for burning holes in children’s lungs and oesophagus. Toddlers like shiny things in general, and because button batteries are small they can easily be swallowed and get stuck in their throats.
“The danger is they can get stuck in the oesophagus. When a coin gets stuck, it often passes on its own,” said David J. Mathison, MD, pediatrics emergency room physician and mid-Atlantic regional medical director, PM Pediatrics.
“But when a button battery gets stuck, the battery acid can eat through the wall of the oesophagus, causing lifelong disability.”
2. Swimming pools
Swimming is a good cardiovascular activity for everyone, particularly for children. Not only that, swimming is also an efficient whole-body work out. But the staggering reports of children drowning in their own swimming pools scare some doctors.
“For me, it is the fact that drowning occurs so fast, and often silently, that prevents me from ever wanting one at my house,” said Dara Kass, MD, assistant professor in the Ronald O. Perelman Department of Emergency Medicine at NYU Langone Medical Center.
3. Extension ladders
The potential head trauma and collapsed lungs wrought by falling from extension ladders renders some doctors apprehensive. “We often treat people who have fallen off of high ladders, which results in serious and extensive injuries,” said Seth Podolsky, MD, vice chair of Cleveland Clinic Emergency Medicine Institute.
This item is a no brainer. Countless lives have been claimed by guns accidentally shot by children who thought them toys. At the end of the day, they can cause more harm than good.
Amy Baxter, MD, pediatrics emergency physician at Scottish Rite Children’s Healthcare in Atlanta, confessed: “I’m Libertarian enough to be conceptually pro-gun, but I’ve taken care of enough teenage suicides and accidental childhood deaths to not even let my kids go to houses where I know there’s a gun.”
5. Ramen noodle soups
Instant noodles may be efficient and fast way to feed a starving child, but when prepared through a microwave, they get extremely hot. And children can easily suffer severe burns from them.
“It’s the most common cause of scald burns in toddlers and infants I see,” revealed Dr. David J. Mathison. “Parents forget how hot these are when they’re on the counter, waiting to be pulled off by a handsy toddler.”
6. Old pain pills
Many people don’t throw away leftover pills, especially narcotic painkillers to save them from the inconvenience of getting a new prescription, but Dr. Ferdinando Mirarchi advises against this practice.
“We’ve had more kids coming in with overdoses from hydrocodone and oxycodone pain drugs [found in Vicodin, Percocet, Oxycontin]. Just one extended-release pill can kill a child.”
7. Blind cords
According to research, “most accidental deaths involving blind cords happen in the bedroom and occur in children between 16 months and 36 months old, with the majority happening at around 23 months.” (www.rospa.com/campaigns-fundraising/current/blind-cord/)
Because toddlers at this age are mobile, and their heads still weigh more than their bodies—their muscular control isn’t as sophisticated as older kids.
This makes them more prone to be unable to free themselves if they become entangled—and blind cords are notorious for this kind of accidents.
8. High chairs that pull up to the table
Dr. Brian Fort, emergency medicine physician at Central DuPage Hospital, has had his fair share of patients who had suffered from head trauma, and most of the cases he’s handled had to do with products designed especially for children.
“Over half of ER visits for children under 1 are due to falls,” he said. “I wouldn’t get a high chair that pulls up to the table, because I’ve seen way too many kids use their feet to push against the table and tip their chair over backward. A fall like this from 3 feet can cause a skull fracture.”
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