Time-honored rule of DIY: Accidents happen

An article in Consumer Reports highlighting Home Safety Month listed the top injuries that occur to homeowners doing home repairs, remodeling, yard work and other projects. Citing statistics from the Home Safety Council, the magazine reported that one in five consumers will need medical attention this year, as 43 million homeowners tackle 57 million home improvement projects. 

The leading causes of injury were: falling off ladders, getting struck by mower debris, lacerations from a power tools or chain saws, and burns or breathing difficulties caused by household chemicals. 

Falls from ladders and stools sent more than 246,733 Americans to hospital emergency rooms in 2009 (the last year for which full statistics are available), according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Lawn mower-related injuries treated in hospital emergency rooms totaled 86,000 in 2009. The most common injuries were caused by debris -- such as rocks and branches -- being thrown by the mower's spinning blades

Home power tools resulted in 83,204 emergency room admissions in 2009. The most common injuries involved cuts, especially to the fingers and hands.

Accidents involving paints, solvents, lubricants and cleaning agents, including pool chemicals and gasoline, caused 53,907 emergency room admissions in 2009. Injuries often included chemical burns and breathing problems.

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