Carl Ceder just finished reading Laura Lee’s 100 Most Dangerous Things in Everyday Life and What You Can Do About Them in which Lee discusses the dangers in common things that perhaps we would have never considered. Being the good friend that he is, Carl shared seven of the items listed with me via text earlier (I’m not sure if they were the top seven or just his seven favorites). Being the person who I am and who finds this stuff fascinating, I decided to share with you, my friends and readers here:
1. Books. Each year 10,683 U.S. citizens lose their battle with what the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s National Electronic Injury Surveillance System calls “books, magazines, albums, or scrapbooks.” Another 1,490 are clobbered by magazine racks or bookends. What’s happening? Karen Miller of the American Library Association explains, “I could offer up things like broken toes when books fall, losing one’s balance when reaching for books, and repetitive stress from shelving them. Magazines could also become dangerous if the staples are loose and scrape the skin.” Back injuries from moving overloaded books is common. Heavy school bags are also a problem. Books are my friend, papercuts–not so much.
2. Chairs. Chairs are more than 13 times as likely to cause injuries as chain saws. WHAT?!?!?!?! More than 410,000 Americans have seating mishaps each year. Most are injuries from falls as people, for example, lean back too far in their office chairs. Most lower-back pain is caused by long stretches of chair sitting. OK, I can see that happening. Five children met their death by unzipping bean bag chairs, crawling inside, and suffocating. Super sad 😦
3. Cotton swabs. These bathroom tools send more people to the hospital than razor blades or shavers. I have been guilty of not following directions and using a cotton swab in my ears–go too far and it hurts. Just happy I haven’t had to go to the hospital because of it.
4. Hospitals. Sad, but not too shocking. I don’t need to add my two-cents here.
5. Natural foods. Healthy fruits and vegetables, even those grown without pesticides, contain cancer-causing nitrates. YIKES!!!! I live on this stuff! The National Academy of Science reports that 72 percent of nitrate exposure to the mouth and esophagus comes from vegetables and only about 9 percent comes from cured meats. Well, at least I’ve got the vegetarian thing to keep me from the latter!
6. Stairs. An estimated 1091 American stair climbers are killed annually and an astounding 769,400 are injured. Missteps can kill you. I am the champ of misjudging the distance between the steps at my parent’s house…. Ceder’s text continues: It takes just one-quarter of an inch difference between where the stair is and where you expect to be to throw you off balance.
7. Staying in bed. Annually, 411,689 people in the United States experience injuries related to beds, mattresses, and pillows. Glad I just flipped my mattress and came away without any injuries!
Just to note, the above italicized text comes from Lee’s book (no plagiarism here!)