As you reorganize a long undisturbed spot in your garage, be on the lookout for creepy critters who may consider that dark corner their home. Four types of poisonous snakes populate South Texas: Coral Snakes, Water Moccasins, Copperheads and Rattlers. Familiarize yourself with their appearance and back off if one slithers out from behind a tool. If you do sustain a bite, Dr. Holland says to immediately ice down the affected area to restrict blood flow and slow the venom’s spread and get to an ER that carries antivenom. He cautions that the old ideas of cutting or trying to suck out the venom or place a tourniquet do more damage than help. He also suggests, if at all possible, take a picture of the snake, and especially the head, to confirm its identity.
Likewise, be cautious for black widow or brown recluse spiders. Black widows are large and glossy black with a pronounced red hourglass mark on their abdomen. The strings of their web are noticeably thick and strong. Brown recluse spiders are much smaller and can be identified by a dark fiddle-shaped pattern on their head. True to their name, like to hide in dark places.
If your spring-cleaning project takes an unexpected, unpleasant turn, help is just around the corner at Physicians Premier. Find out more at MDpremier.com.
Spring Cleaning Dangers
By Amy Morgan
Weather is getting warmer, days are getting longer, there’s no more football season to distract you. What better reasons to tackle those house and yard spring cleaning projects? Before you get started, heed the advice of the board certified physicians at Physicians Premier, a free-standing emergency room located west of Highway 281 on Highway 46 near the HEB Plus. These medical professionals have seen what happens when a Honey Do turns into a Honey Don’t disaster.
First things first, in your zeal to get cleaning, be aware of which chemicals in your cleansers do and don’t mix. Stubborn problems often require additional cleaning with the same product. Throwing a combination of products to “cover your bases” can produce toxic fumes or cause contact burns. Read and follow the directions on the labels. Wear gloves, consider a facemask and open the windows or turn on fans to ventilate the area. Never use gasoline to clean anything – it is highly flammable!
It should go without saying, but electricity and water don’t mix. That rule applies for any electric cleaning tool you might want to use with a full bucket. Containers of water provide a drowning hazard for curious pets and small children. Never leave your cleaning supplies unattended.
You might be tempted to get on a ladder to trim some limbs, wash windows or dust off your ceiling fan. Falls are the most common household injury, with their resulting bumps, bruises, sprains and breaks. “Don’t climb a ladder alone,” advised David Holland, M.D., who’s spent 25 years as an ER physician. “Make sure someone is with you to secure the footing or at the very least summon help if you fall.” If you suspect a fracture or head injury, Physicians Premier offers X-Rays, diagnosis and treatment 24 hours, 7 days a week.