Common causes for emergency room visits

RENO, Nev. (KOLO) Many household accidents are more likely to occur during the holidays. This three-day weekend is no exception. But common household items can also increase the chance of you or your child getting hurt.

Photo courtesy: MGN

Unsecured prescription drugs and pools are two items in homes that can lead to overdoses, and near-drowning or drowning.

It's not an uncommon scenario for physicians who work in emergency rooms. But there are five more items they warn about. One of the most obvious is an unsecured gun in the home.

“Most people's kids are inquisitive. They will find them. They will want to know what they are all about. Potentially play with them. If you are going to own a gun you should have it locked up in a safe only you have access to,” says Dr. Bret Frey, an emergency physician at Northern Nevada Medical Center.

Trampolines are a great way for kids to get exercise. But they can also lead to injuries even with experience and supervision.

“Your child can't escape gravity. Gravity always wins,” says Dr. Frey.

He says the most common injuries are extremity fractures, but sometimes he sees neck and back injuries as a result of falling off the trampoline.

Hover boards are another item. In 2015, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission investigated and ultimately declared all hover boards on the market unsafe. That's led many retailers to stop selling them. Broken wrists are the most common injury from hover board falls.

Batteries and magnets are tiny, sometimes shiny, and sometimes small children put them in their mouths and swallow them.

“So one battery can be pretty bad. If it stays in one place especially, it can cause erosion, necrosis, dying of the tissues, and then that places the bowel at risk for perforation. Magnets cause a folding of the bowel, sticks together causes the bowel to die,” says Dr. Frey.

Finally, extension ladders are pretty handy items in homes. They can reach to roofs or trees. The problem is they may only be used once or twice a year. With little experience, falls sometimes from high places are the result.

“I see a ton of falls off ladders,” says Dr. Frey.

Understanding the downsides of having these items in your home will probably lead to assessing if they need to be there at all. If the answer is still yes, secure and mitigate those items--understanding that in some cases you’ll have to accept the risk.