Scraped the top of my head this morning so let’s talk about head injuries

After a week of helping several of my friends move into new apartments, I’m back on the farm and was wanting to make another post. I was thinking about what a good topic would be when it hit me, quite literally, in the form of having a minor injury of my own this morning. I’ll start with a quick write up of what happened and the steps I’m taking to stop it from happening again, and then I’ll provide some resources on head injuries.

What happened:

I was doing morning chores, and checked on my sister-in-law’s ducks. It looked like they were getting low on food, so I decided to feed them. The ducks live in an old corn crib, the kind with the wire mesh sides. This is great for the ducks because they have a ton of space where nothing can get at them, but it means that whoever is feeding them has to go in and out through the corn crib door, which is maybe about 4 feet tall. The bottoms of the vertical wires at the top of the door frame stick down about 1/8 of an inch below the horizontal wire. When I went back out, I didn’t duck (pun intended) quite far enough and scraped the top of my head on one of the bits of wire sticking down. Not a serious injury by any means, but since it’s on the top of my head it hurt like crazy and I now have a 3 inch long scrape/bruise that is going to be bugging me for a few days.

Factors leading to the injury:

The design of the door was the main factor that led to the injury. The doorway is too short to get through without stooping, the ends of the vertical wires stick out in such a way that they can easily scratch someone, and there isn’t anything to warn you that the sharp bits are there. I’ll also cite worker inexperience since I rarely feed the ducks. Also, talking with other people it seems like everyone has scraped themselves on those wires at some point so this is also a case where an ongoing issue hasn’t been addressed and multiple people have experienced the same injury.

Corrective measures:

To make the hazard easier to see, and to dull the sharp edges I wrapped the whole top of the doorway in neon pink tape. Hopefully this will mean that the scratch I got this morning will be the last time anyone gets hurt by the ends of the wires. Also, it’s a super cheap solution that doesn’t interfere with how the door closes. Prevention doesn’t always have to be expensive or complicated!

Image result for neon pink duct tape

Additionally I’d like to share a few articles on assessing and treating head injuries that I was looking at this morning. Fortunately I didn’t have any symptoms of a serious injury, but even so it felt a lot worse than it was because there are so many nerve endings in your scalp.

Here is the article from Colorado Children’s Hospital that I looked up earlier that seemed the most helpful. It’s about head injuries in children, but the same information works for adults too. I like how they clearly spell out when to call 911, when to go to urgent care, when to see a doctor non-urgently , and when to treat at home.

https://www.childrenscolorado.org/conditions-and-advice/conditions-and-symptoms/symptoms/head-injury/

Here is another article from WebMd that covers a lot of the same information:

https://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/guide/head-injuries-causes-and-treatments#1