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Accidents Don't Have to Happen

Of all the killers that assault health, accidents are the most preventable. Here are some general guidelines to consider:

  • Educate yourself on how to properly operate appliances, tools, and other equipment. Read operating manuals carefully. Know the possible dangers and how to avoid them.
  • Wear protective gear if an activity calls for it: safety glasses, helmets, sports gear, and the like.
  • Make sure you have experience before you do an activity. For example, do you know how to pilot a motorboat? Are you a good swimmer?
  • Be aware of your state of mind before engaging in an activity. Are you bored? Tired? Distracted? Stressed out? A bad mood or fatigue can impair your judgment.
  • Evaluate the riskiness of your behavior. Many accidents are the result of thoughtless or reckless behavior, such as riding motorcycles without helmets, diving headfirst into bodies of water without knowing their depth, and using drugs and alcohol unwisely. Think before you act.
  • Take classes in first aid and CPR.

Excerpted from How Not to Die by Jan Garavaglia, M.D.

Copyright © 2008 by Atlas Media Corp. and Jan Garavaglia, M.D.

Permission granted by Crown Publishers, New York, NY