General Question

InTheZone's avatar

Do you have any great "safety equipment " ideas or experiences to share?

Asked by InTheZone (712 points ) July 2nd, 2011

I’m looking for stories that will inspire us to use safety equipment such as seat belts, bicycle or motorcycle helmets, child safety devices, or any other life-or-health-saving equipment you can name, (perhaps you can point us to something we haven’t thought about).

I’m not really looking for quips about how brave you are not to use the aforementioned equipment, or what a waste of time it might be. Please offer us something constructive or really helpful.

I’ll share mine after I’ve heard a few of yours.

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15 Answers

kourkoubini's avatar

Seat belts my friend saved my life twice. I crashed as co-driver twice and the cars didn’t have airbags. All i had were the seat belts and that proved enough. The first time we crushed on rocks at the speed of 80km/h and the second on a tree going at appr. 55km/h

woodcutter's avatar

It’s an assignment for big pharma or someone of Timothy Leary’s ilk. Develop a pill that will give everyone who uses it incredible powers of common sense. If it is successful we just might not need as many things to protect us from ourselves. I’ll be first in line to give it a go.

marinelife's avatar

My father never used seat belts. He didn’t believe in them. But he was a military officer and government regulations required that they use seat belts. So one morning, on a business trip, they left early. There was black ice on the road. the driver slid and the car flipped upside down. Everyone was unhurt due to their wearing seat belts.

From then on, seat belts were the rule in the family car as well.

woodcutter's avatar

Yeah seat belts saved my bacon once. That was enough.

gailcalled's avatar

I too flipped a Ford Taurus wagon on black ice about ten years ago. The car skidded into a tree and turned onto its back. Seat belt and air bag saved my life.

When I came to, 30 or so seconds after the jolt, I was hanging from my seat belt. The sensation of the belt buckle digging into my breast bone was so painful, that I unclipped the buckle and fell onto the ceiling of the car.

The car was completely destroyed ($18,000 from the insurance co). I had only a bruise between my breasts and a small abrasion on cornea from air bag. After being x-rayed from stem to stern ER people sent me home in a taxi.

There is a fellow I see around town who crashed a motorcycle without a helmet several years ago. He can barely walk with crutches and has trouble making people understand him because his speech is so garbled. I have given him a ride home several times and he has told me what a misery his life has been since the accident.

jaytkay's avatar

I fell off my bike once. Solo effort, traveling about 5 miles per hour. I distinctly remember seeing the concrete approaching my face. BAM!

I was stunned and it took some time to realize where I was. Then I got up, took off my helmet which had a huge split in the front, and continued on my way.

Without the helmet I would have at least broken my nose and split my skull. Probably would have smashed my glasses into my eyeballs, too.

Kardamom's avatar

Having your cabinets (entertainment units, book cases, dressers etc) secured with brackets into studs in the wall. We have earthquakes out here in California and a few of my relatives had all of their big pieces of furniture topple onto the ground (glass shattering, large items falling), and in one case, on top of them. My Dad is the King of bracketing stuff into the studs of our walls.

Making sure that your television sets are secured (with brackets and/or straps etc.) There was a news article in our local paper about how a baby accidentally pulled a TV and cabinet on top of her and it killed the baby.

Having a fence around your pool and a pool cover, and making sure that people (not just the parents) are always 100% vigilant when it comes to having children or non-swimmers in their yard. It only takes one second (of you not paying attention, by being on the phone or checking your oven) for a little one to fall in the pool, un-noticed to drown. You always hear someone say, “I only walked away for a minute.” It takes less than a minute.

Making sure that your area rugs have non-skid material on the bottom and that your home is free from wires and other tripping hazards that can be deadly to elderlly people and little kids. One of my cousin’s is handicapped and currently is confined to a wheelchair, but when she could walk with the aid of a walker and a cane, she took several serious spills due to the fact that their home was full of clutter and tripping hazards.

Keeping your pills out of the reach of toddlers. Both of my folks take a lot of medications and for convenience sake, they are often kept on the kitchen table. But when my nephew was born, we had to make a conscious effort to put the pills away, in a locked cabinet, or in a cabinet that was high up so that my nephew could not reach them. It’s sometimes hard to remind your parents that they need to do this step (because you don’t want to inconvenience them or embarrass them) but it is necessary, to make sure that the toddler doesn’t eat the pills, thinking that they are candy.

Installing alarms and other devices on your upper floor windows to make sure that your pets or children don’t accidentally fall out of the window. Some of you may recall that Eric Clapton’s baby son, fell out of their apartment window and died. That is for whom the song, “Tears in Heaven” was written for.

Parents (and teachers and other caregivers) learning to spot the signs of drug use, and cyber-bulling by educating themselves. A lot of parents are completely oblivious to the fact that their kids are on drugs, even though most drugs present certain behaviors that are pretty clear when you know what to look for. A lot of parents too, just don’t pay enough attention to what their kids are doing on a day to day basis. They don’t know who their friends are, or where they are or what they are doing. Most are completely clueless about who their kids are interacting with online or what kinds of sites their kids are visiting and whether or not their kids are being bullied (or are bullying other kids). Parents just need to wise up, educate themselves and be more vigilant, even if it means not being friends with their kids. If they don’t, our society will end up with even more kids killing themselves because they were “bullied to death” or accidentally over-dosing on drugs (including nitrous oxide and good old alcohol) because the parents had no idea that their kids were involved in any of those things.

Teaching all people, young and old, about defensive driving techniques. I was very lucky to have parents that taught me how to drive, along with taking extensive driver’s education classes in school. But I was never one of those kids who was excited to go out and throw caution to the wind. I’ve always been pretty sensible when it comes to those things. But I think you can instill sensibility into people, especially if the teachers are people that are respected by the students (angry parents and old fuddy duddies don’t usually work). Especially if there are huge penalties, repercussions and embarrassing/expensive consquences for driving poorly (tailgating, wreckless speeding and un-necessary lane changing, not using signals, talking and texting while driving, driving while intoxicated, tired or angry etc). Right now, people only get a slap on the wrist for drunk driving, and the other things usually don’t get any kind of punishment or social stigma attached to them. Lots of people think it’s cute to drive aggressively. We as a society need to change that idea. Kind of like with smoking. It used to be considered sexy and cool, now most people (unfortunatelly not all) think it’s disgusting and un-healthy.

Teaching young people (especially young women) how to be safe and protective of their hearts. Too many young women, grow up with these sicko fantasy notions of a knight in shining armor coming to love them and whisk them away to a life of love and happily ever after. They don’t see the signs of disinterest and disrespect and try to justify bad behavior, so they chase after bad people, or stay with them, because they are convinced that the bad person will eventually turn into the knight in shining armor. Instead of realizing that if they make better choices (choose better people in the first place) that they are much more likely to be loved and respected and to enjoy and mutually satisfying relationship. Sometimes the best people don’t come wrapped in packages that look like Brad Pitt or Angelina Jolie.

Paying 100% more attention to what is, or is not behind your car before you back out of the garage or driveway. A poor man in my town recently ran over his toddler with his own car. His wife had gotten out of their car, and the husband thought the toddler went into the house with his mother. The father had gotten out of the car too without the toddler. The toddler, being forgotten by both parents, got out of the car on his own and went behind the car. Then the father got back into the car to to somewhere else, and ran over and killed his own child. You should always walk behind your car immediately before you intend pull out, and check check check before you back up. Other kids can dart in and out behind your car in a split second. Just plan to pay more attention from this day forth.

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JLeslie's avatar

If you do a lot of lifting get a belt made to help support your back, makes a ton of difference. I think even moms who lift their kids all day should consider it if their back is strained. If you don’t use a belt, remember always bend your knees to pick something up, never bend over and lift. Keep items close to your body, do as little reaching as possible.

Does the OP only want to stick to equipment? Or, tips too? I hate to go on with tips if it is not at all withing the scope of the question. A couple of others are never leave anything on top of the stove, especially plastic or paper, evenif it is off; and always leave pot handles to the side of the stove (a neighbor of mine, her little girl knocked into a pot handle walking in thenkitchen and had third degree burns down her body). I’ll save mentioning more unless the OP comes back with comfirming she wants safety tips.

InTheZone's avatar

@JLeslie
Absolutely I would welcome any tips, not just related to equipment. Those you suggested are great! Thank you! Please add any you think be helpful.
@kourkoubini I have had something similar with a seat belt… thanks for sharing that.
@woodcutter I love your idea for a pill… if only it were possible.
@marinelife Awesome that your Dad’s experience could benefit the rest of your family. We can’t ever know what might have happened, but the effects of such an experience can be far-reaching.
@gailcalled Great examples, thanks! The helmet is such a small concession to make for such a huge protection. It’s sad that too often we have to know someone like this to fully appreciate how important it is.
@jaytkay That is amazing! You were so fortunate, wise too that you chose to wear your helmet. Good job!
@Kardamom WOW!!! Just Wow! What a lot of great ideas. I especially love all those about children. Everyone I know needs to hear these! Thank you so much!

JLeslie's avatar

Cribs should not be placed by the window, especially cords of blinds should be well put of reach. Babies have been strangled to death accidently.

Never leave a child alone in the water. Child fence all pools in back yards or have an alarm on the doors and sliding glass doors of the house. Pools should have a double drain, this is code in many counties, but not in all. The double drain is a back up safety so people cannot get sucked down to the drain during a malfunction. This has happened all too often. Even an adult cannot swim away from the suction at the bottom of the pool, but if they are tall enough their head is out of water. For that matter, never swim alone, any age, always have a buddy.

Hold umbrella by the wooden or plastic end. It is non metal for a reason. If lightening hits the umbrella the electricity will not get to you if you are holding the wooden end that does not conduct electricity. All umbrellas that lose their handles should be thrown out.

If a tornado is visible, get out of your car and lie flat in a ditch.

If a hurricane is coming, cut down all the coconuts and anything else that can become a flying object easily.

After a storm be careful not to step in puddles of water that might possibly have a downed power line electrifying it.

YARNLADY's avatar

Don’t take off their safety restraint in the grocery cart just because they cry. This embarrassed grandmother spent several hours in the ER because of taking pity on the crying child, who jumped right out of the cart and landed on the concrete floor on his head.

Kardamom's avatar

Oh, here’s another one that I just remembered because I have a 5 year old nephew.

Whenever you go someplace like the beach or camping or the fair or an amusement park or any other place where there are lots of people and you could accidentally get separated from your kid (because they run really fast). Take a picture on your phone or camera (BEFORE YOU GO IN) of what your kid is wearing on that day, both a full body shot and a closeup shot of their face, so that when you are hysterically trying to describe what your kid was wearing (and you won’t remember) you can show the picture to the authorities or other folks who are helping you to look for your kid. If you just say, he’s about 3 feet tall and has curly brown hair, you’ve just described about ¼ of all the kids in the vicinity. You need to have specifics.

And for camping and hiking and walking alone at night or in isolated areas (which you really shouldn’t do any way, but people do it all the time), make sure that everybody young and old alike, always carry a whistle around their neck, (or for younger kids who might get it hung up on something, have the whistle safety pinned to their shirt so they can reach it to blow it) just in case they get lost or separated from the group. A person can easily grow hoarse from screaming, but a whistle is louder and more effective.

Never transfer medications, cleaners or any other chemicals from their original containers to a different container (unless the new container is made for that product and has a xeroxed copy of the product name, ingredients and warning labels securely attached to the new container). If a product is accidentally ingested, the paramedics, emergency room doctors, or poison control people need to know exactly what the product and it’s ingredients are. If you dump your 409 into empty Windex bottle, then the information is not only incorrect, it is missing. This is actually an OSHA law that I learned about at work. We were putting paint samples into small yogurt cups. Big No No!

Never, ever pour any chemicals into a coffee cup or drinking glass, or paper fast food cup, or bathroom Dixie cup or any other container that is used for food and drink when you are using them. A friend’s mother accidentally swallowed bleach, because someone was using a coffee cup to hold bleach. My friend’s mom, thought it was water and just quickly grabbed it and took a sip. She almost died and severely burned her mouth, throat and esophagus.

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