Don't Try This at Home

Kitchen Catastrophes
Oil spills in the kitchen can be hazardous, even deadly. They can cause slips, falls and fire. One of the best ways to soak up oil is to use baby powder, which quickly absorbs the liquid.

In 2008, hot oil fryers caused more than 1,000 house fires. Watch how quickly flames erupt when using a fryer.

"I want to talk a little bit more about the burn aspect of this," plastic surgeon Dr. Drew Ordon says. "This type of fire can cause third-degree burns, which is the worst kind of burn. This type of burn needs immediate medical attention."

"Oils are so dangerous because they continue to burn underneath your skin once it's on your skin," E.R. physician Dr. Travis Stork adds.

Trampoline Safety

In 2008, more than 104,000 people -- adults and children alike -- were injured in trampoline accidents. In the interest of jumping fun, Dr. Jim demonstrates the safest way to bounce into the New Year! 

What to Do if Burned:
• Call 911
• Don't remove burnt clothing
• Elevate burned body part
• Cover with clean, moist bandage or cloth

Juice and Drug Interaction
Grapefruit, apple and orange juices can prevent the body from absorbing some drugs properly. Chemicals in these citrus fruits can interfere with the enzymes necessary to metabolize these drugs.

Types of medications that may be adversely affected by juices include:
• Cholesterol
• Blood pressure
• Immunosuppressants
• Sedatives
• Impotence

For a complete list of drug interactions, click here.

Botulism Dangers in Food
Cloves of garlic soaked in olive oil may taste delicious, but when improperly stored or kept at room temperature, can be deadly. Garlic, due to its low-acidity, can trigger the growth of the bacterium Clostridium botulinum, which can cause botulism, a serious paralytic ailment.

Restaurants adhere to strict guidelines that mandate the use of citric or phosphoric acid to increase the pH balance of garlic, making their olive oil infused with garlic safe to consume.

Dental Don'ts

Dentist Jamie Sands from Studio City, California warns about the dangers of performing self-dentistry

Due to their under-developed systems, children are at a higher risk of botulism than adults.

"Babies under the age of 1 are even more susceptible to botulism because they don't have the stomach acid to help fight that off, pediatrician Dr. Jim Sears says. "Raw honey is a big source of botulism."

See how botulism affects the body.

Botulism Symptoms:
• Double or blurred vision
• Drooping eyelids
• Slurred speech
• Difficulty swallowing
• Muscle weakness


Ladder Safety

Eric Stromer, host of HGTV's Over Your Head, shares sound advice for around-the-house projects!

Ladder Tips:
• Apply the 4-to-1 rule: for every 4 feet the ladder reaches, position the ladder outward by 1 foot
• Whenever ascending or descending the ladder, place both hands on the rungs
• Always face the rungs
• Don't climb above the top three rungs of a ladder
• Keep your torso centered, don't lean to the right or left of the ladder
• Wear appropriate footwear, such as a work boot or a treaded shoe
• Never leave an erected ladder unattended

Natural Gas and Propane Dangers
In case of an earthquake, Eric cautions, never light a candle or a fire of any kind. Earthquakes or other events may shake natural or propane gas pipes loose, and a spark of any kind could ignite a fire or explosion. Instead, use a flashlight!

Make sure your children know what natural gas smells like. Contact your local gas company for a free scratch-and-sniff pamphlet that contains the universalized smell of natural gas.

"If you smell natural gas, call the gas company and get out of the house," Dr. Travis says.

"Absolutely," Eric adds. "Don't try to fix it yourself. Let the professionals take care of it."

Eric shares tips for earthquake preparedness.

Chemical Peels Dos and Don'ts
Plastic surgeon Dr. Drew Ordon is an old hand at chemical peels, a popular cosmetic procedure performed to refresh facial skin. Several different levels of peels are available, ranging in acidic intensity, and should always be performed by a medical professional.

Chemical Peels Can:
• Eliminate fine lines
• Correct sun damage and mild scarring
• Reduce wrinkles
• Even out skin discoloration
• Remove blemishes

Check out Dr. Ordon's dos and don'ts for chemical peels!

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