5 Experts Answer: What Are the Most Dangerous Items in a Home?

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Credit: House photo via Shutterstock

5 Experts Answer: What Are the Most Dangerous Items in a Home?

This week, weِ asked emergency room doctors: What areِ the mostِ dangerous items inِ a home.
Ryan Stanton, spokesman forِ the American College ofِ Emergency Physicians andِ medical director ofِ the University ofِ Kentucky Good Samaritan Hospital Emergency Room inِ Lexington: The mostِ deadly — andِ I haveِ two cases fromِ this inِ the ER rightِ nowِ — isِ the stairs.
The usual injuries areِ bone injuries, fractures andِ head injuries.

It can happen to anyone. My daughter just fell down the steps yesterday.

The secondِ mostِ dangerous isِ the floor; theِ bathroom beingِ the mostِ dangerous, withِ it’sِ wet surface, andِ everything inِ the bathroom beingِ hard.
We haveِ a lot ofِ head injuries andِ back injuries fromِ slipping inِ the bathroom.
Someone withِ carpet isِ more likelyِ to trip, butِ the harder theِ surface, theِ moreِ likelyِ they areِ to beِ injured.

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Patty Davis, spokesperson for the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission:

To focus onِ kids, bathtubs areِ the mostِ dangerous thingِ inِ the house.
Bathtubs areِ the secondِ leading location, afterِ pools, whereِ young children drown.
From 2005 toِ 2009 thereِ were 660 submersion incidents involving children younger thanِ 5 years old, andِ of thatِ number, 431 wereِ fatalities, andِ 17 wereِ incidents withِ unknown injuries.

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Kaycee Sink, associate professor atِ Wake Forest University School ofِ Medicine, Winston-Salem, North Carolina: For theِ elderly, throw rugs.
In term ofِ household hazards, throw rugs mayِ not beِ the mostِ common reason forِ hospitalization, butِ it’s oneِ ofِ the mostِ deadly ones.
Throw rugs canِ actuallyِ be worse thanِ stairs inِ terms ofِ danger.

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Dr. Edward Otten, emergency medicine physician and toxicologist at the University of Cincinnati:

I’d sayِ alcohol causesِ the mostِ problems insideِ houses.
This includes alcohol leading people toِ harm themselves, people harming othersِ andِ alcohol causing accidents.
After that, I’d sayِ carbon monoxide isِ a veryِ common dangerous thingِ inِ the house, thenِ things likeِ prescription drugs.

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Timothy Erickson, professor ofِ emergency medicine andِ toxicology atِ the University ofِ Illinois atِ Chicago: Certainly, theِ oneِ thing I worry aboutِ the mostِ with lethality wouldِ beِ guns, thenِ kids havingِ access toِ car keys.
Certainly prescription drugs ofِ parents, inِ particular someِ ofِ the pain killers.
If youِ lookِ atِ the lethality, it’sِ goingِ to beِ guns, alcohol, theِ car, prescription drugs, andِ the garage killers — whichِ areِ your windshield wiper fluid (or methanol) andِ anti-freeze (or ethylene glycol).

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