Dr. Ben Wedro practices emergency medicine at Gundersen Clinic, a regional trauma center in La Crosse, Wisconsin. His background includes undergraduate and medical studies at the University of Alberta, a Family Practice internship at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario and residency training in Emergency Medicine at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center.
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.
Accidents happen, but the risk of injury can be potentially minimized, planning and equipment make all the difference. Injuries happen at work,
at play, at home, and on the road.
Injury prevention on the road
Things that make a difference while driving or riding in a vehicle include:
Wear a seatbelt.
Have proper fitting car seats for infants and children.
Wear a helmet when on a motorcycle
Never drive drunk or mentally impaired.
Never get in a car with a drunk or impaired driver and try to prevent
them from driving.
Supervise teen drivers and follow graduated license restrictions until
the young driver has more experience behind the wheel.
Supervise older drivers and help them decide when they may have become
dangerous. This may require enlisting the help of their physician or other
friends. Loss of driving means loss of independence for a person, and it is just as life-changing a moment as a teenager who experiences the freedom of their first
Injury prevention at work
Know how how to use equipment properly and don't take cut corners
Always wear safety equipment
When using your body as a tool, use it wisely.
Lift using proper technique.
Adjust workstations to fit your body size and shape.
Use common sense when reaching, especially when working on ladders or
Never work when impaired. Aside from drugs and alcohol, this includes
sleep deprived, which can increase the risk of accident and injury.
Injury prevention at home
Injuries that happen at home occur because of falls, fires, and poisonings.
Falls occur at any age and while we consider them accidental, in retrospect,
they may be all preventable. The same can be said for fires and poisoning.
For older adults, the CDC recommends a four-step approach to prevention.
regular exercise program that emphasizes strength and
Review medications, since some may cause lightheadedness
Have vision checked on a regular basis
Make home safer including removing things that can cause tripping,
removing small throw rugs, improving lighting, wearing shoes all the time,
and installing grab bars and handrails.
Install smoke detectors in the home, boat, or RV, and routinely change batteries and make certain that
they are working.
Have a fire escape plan for your home, boat, or RV and make certain everybody, even
children, know about it.
Keep matches away from children.
Don't smoke in bed.
Make certain all ashes are cold and not smoldering before putting them
in the garbage.
Use space heaters wisely and do not place them near drapes or other
Medications should be stored out of reach of children and ideally should be
locked up. This includes over-the-counter medications such as acetaminophen
(Tylenol), ibuprofen and
aspirin. Over-the-counter medications can be toxic and
just as lethal as prescription medications when taken improperly.
Cleaning chemicals, liquids, and detergents should always be kept in their
original container and stored in a place out of reach from children. Under the
sink is a bad place unless the area is always locked.
Poison proofing a home includes getting rid of any chemicals that you do not
need. This includes items in the kitchen, laundry room, garage, and the workshop.
Know your local poison control center telephone number and write it down or
program it into your cell phone. The National Poison Control telephone number
Install a carbon monoxiode detector in your home, boat, or RV to avoid
carbon monoxide poisoning.
Some states require these by law.
Injury prevention at play
Wear a helmet when on anything that goes faster than you can run. This
includes bicycles, scooters, skateboards, skis, snowboards, and too many
other home-made devices built for speed. Speed is fun but should be tempered
Playground equipment needs to be maintained, especially if it's in a
backyard. Swings are a common cause of falls in kids. In public playgrounds
falls from climbing structures are a number one source of injury.
Drowning should always be preventable. Water is a draw to young and old
alike but it should be treated with respect. Drowning is the second most
common cause of accidental death in kids aged 1–14.