Ask Dr. Rupie: Common Household Items That Can Land You in the ER

Ask Dr. Rupie

Honolulu (KHON2) – Everyday goods can become hazards if you’re not careful so we asked Dr. Rupie about common household items that can land you in the Emergency Room.

“Falls are the most common household injury so things that create a fall hazard like charging cords are culprits,” explains Rupal Gohil, MD. “Ladders, stepstools and showers are a major sources of falls. Stairs are one of the more common and dangerous sites. Other objects are more obvious- knives while chopping, power tools like hand saws and potential toxic substances like cleaning products that could potentially be ingested. Doors are another common cause of injury.”

With the holidays around the corner, Dr. Rupie warns us to be on the lookout. “A lot of us will be cooking, and oils and even boiling water can be a danger,” she stresses. “So keeping in mind safety precautions. Especially with little ones around. Turning handles inwards and being cautious in the kitchen. Decorations can be hazards too, Improperly stored lights, lit candles are fire hazards as are objects that aren’t secured well.”

For children, beware of Tide pods, cotton swabs, change/coins and batteries, unused medications. Other things can be fairly harmless when used correctly but can become dangerous- like furniture. dressers and bunk beds, which are some of the more dangerous pieces.

Dr. Rupie is a new mom so she also has important babyproofing tips that other parents may not have thought of. In addition to the usual recommendations, bumpers on tables, baby gates and locking drawers, it’s also a good idea to get down on all fours and explore the floors where baby will be playing. You are likely to spot hazards you may not have thought of. You want to be sure to get rid of or move any small objects that baby may place in their mouth. 

Some things we don’t think about are items like hair products and makeup which are usually in eye catching packaging and can be dangerous if ingested or get in the eye. Nail products can also be a hazard.

Dr. Rupie recommends that you learn CPR, the Heimlich Maneuver, and keep poison control’s number handy in case of an emergency. 

Poison Control: (800) 222-1222

To learn more and get valuable health and wellness tips, visit Dr. Rupie’s website: or follow @Dr.Rupie on Instagram and Facebook.@Dr. Rupie

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