We don’t mean to scare you, but some of the activities and items most likely to injure you are those you use or engage in every single day. Even the most harmless objects or pastimes can hide safety risks you may never have considered. Here, we’ve collected a list of 18 surprisingly dangerous everyday things that are statistically more likely to harm you than most!
They may be clean and relaxing places, but bathtubs are also mighty slippery when wet, posing a significant risk of slipping and falling onto the rock-hard surfaces of a typical bathroom. According to the Centers for Disease Control, thousands of people are injured in bathtubs every year, making safety equipment like non-slip mats and handrails important, especially for the elderly.
Okay, this one might be less surprising, but we see stairs so often in everyday buildings that we often forget how risky they can be. The National Safety Council reports that over one million people suffer an injury from using stairs annually and that under-lit stairwells lacking handrails are the most dangerous.
Cooking is an activity most of us participate in daily, but it’s also a common source of burns and household fires. First Alert recommends staying in the room whenever you use a heat source to cook with and always having a regularly tested kitchen-type fire extinguisher on hand, just in case!
Cycling may be an excellent form of exercise and transportation, but it comes with significant risks. According to People for Bikes, thousands of cyclists are injured every year in accidents with motor vehicles. Wearing helmets, using cycle lanes, avoiding adverse weather conditions, and wearing high-visibility clothing can all help mitigate the risk.
The World Health Organization estimates that over 320,000 drowning deaths occur worldwide each year. Although not all of these were swimmers, it highlights the dangers of water, whether it’s a pool, a lake, or the ocean. Never swim in a public pool without a lifeguard present, and always assess your ability, the water depth, and sea conditions before swimming in nature.
Common household cleaners may be effective cleaning aids, but that often means they contain corrosive or harmful chemicals, putting you at risk of chemical burns and over-exposure to toxic fumes. America’s Poison Centers warns about thousands of poisoning cases annually due to cleaning products that are unsafely stored or improperly used.
Tall, Heavy Furniture
Tall furniture that isn’t securely attached to the wall can be hazardous, particularly to young children who may climb unstable shelves or cabinets. HealthyChildren.org claims children can get crushed or asphyxiated by heavy furniture tipping over on top of them and that, in unfortunate cases, this often causes death—especially in children aged six or under.
Sharp or electrically powered gardening tools can cause serious injury, particularly when used without proper experience or safety equipment. Tools such as lawnmowers and hedge trimmers are convenient and effective, but dangerous if used without care. The Consumer Product Safety Commission states that over 400,000 people visit the emergency room annually due to garden tool injuries.
According to VCA Animal Hospitals, dogs can be aggressive toward those they live with, and you should always be vigilant if your dog growls, bites, or is intensely fearful. Dog behavior experts, appropriate training techniques, and a medical check may help with aggression.
Scalds from hot liquids at 140°F can be serious in under five seconds. Yet, coffee and tea are typically served at higher temperatures of 160° to 180°, meaning burns can be instantaneous and severe enough to require surgery. Always use an appropriate drinking container, don’t over-fill it, and avoid having hot drinks around children.
DIY Home Repairs
DIY can be satisfying, but take care with power tools, electricity, and toxic chemicals, especially if you lack training or experience. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has produced an entire booklet on the hazards of power tools and recommended safety precautions: it’s a great resource for your next project.
Most children enjoy playgrounds, but there are inherent dangers, particularly with sub-standard or poorly maintained facilities. Children at play are unlikely to see the dangers, so make sure you assess any playgrounds for broken or age-inappropriate equipment, rusty nails, sharp edges, sun-baked metal slides, or places a child could easily fall from.
The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America reports that millions of people suffer from allergies, and severe reactions can lead to anaphylactic shock. If you or a loved one have a serious allergy, remain vigilant and always carry epinephrine if necessary. Otherwise, everyday things like foods, insects, and pollen can be life-threatening.
You may use one every day, but you probably don’t think of cars as dangerous. Yet, car accidents are a leading cause of injury and death worldwide, with millions of road traffic fatalities every year. You can minimize the risk by keeping your vehicle well-maintained, adhering to traffic rules, wearing a seat belt, and avoiding distractions (like phones) while driving.
Prescription medications can have unforeseen side effects and may interact with other drugs, so never take anything that hasn’t been prescribed for you, don’t exceed the stated dose, and read the instructions and warnings for the product carefully before use. Otherwise, you may end up in an emergency room.
Unless you’re an electrician, messing with electrical appliances or home electrics isn’t advisable. Burns and electrical shocks from faulty or mishandled electrical appliances are common, so always read the instructions carefully and keep your devices well-maintained. If in doubt, ask a professional for help!
The Environmental Protection Agency warns that carbon monoxide (CO) is an odorless, colorless gas that can be deadly when inhaled, earning the nickname “the silent killer.” Because you can’t smell it or see it, you’ll need a CO monitor in your home that is checked regularly. Always ensure proper ventilation, and never ignore a carbon monoxide detector’s alarm.
Being hit on the head by a falling object can happen anywhere, but homes and workplaces are the most likely places to sustain such an injury. Always take care when storing items up high, and never enter dangerous places (like building sites or storage facilities) without appropriate safety equipment. That hard hat might not look cool, but it might save your life. CF
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A recent internet survey posed the question, “Married men: what’s one thing you wish you could tell your wife but won’t because you know it will start a fight?” Here are the 23 best responses.
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As times change, there are inevitably some things that baffle our beloved seniors, while leaving the rest of us in splits or simply shrugging it off. From avocado toasts to e-books, in this article, we’re highlighting 19 things old people hate that the rest of us just don’t understand.
They say you are what you eat, but for these treats, you might want to wish otherwise. Read on for the top 20 foods that Americans may love but the rest of the world just absolutely can’t stand.