October 30, 2008

Halloween is a nightmare for most clumsy people — costumes can be a death trap for many of us.

I spoke to a local police officer to find some general safety tips for everyone:

  1. When driving on Halloween night watch out for children walking along the road in neighborhoods. If you are walking with your children, make sure children stay off the road, especially when a car is coming.
  2. Wear something reflective on your costume and your child’s costume to help cars see you.
  3. Do not wear masks that limit your field of vision. Such masks could impair your ability to properly watch for children or cars.
  4. Do not eat opened or unusual looking candy — it could be tampered with.
  5. Do a FDLE Sex offender online search of your neighborhood to know where the offenders are in your neighborhood. Go to for more information.

Personally, I’ve sprayed hair dye on my face instead of my hair too many times to count. And what child has never worn a costume that was too long for them and ended up scraping their knees by the end of the night?

So, here’s my list of safety tips that every klutz should follow closely, especially around Halloween:

  1. Make sure that the nozzle is pointed in the direction you want it BEFORE you start spraying (ie. hair spray and fake blood).
  2. Don’t wear shoes that make an injury more likely (ie. heels and shoes that are too big)
  3. Read warnings on any products before you use them in your mouth (glow sticks are toxic if you bite them and the liquid escapes into your mouth and some fake blood is not meant to be put in your mouth).
  4. Don’t wear costumes that drag on the ground because they increase your chances of tripping (either because you step on the ends or someone else does).
  5. Don’t wear costumes that make “wardrobe malfunctions” more likely.

Here are some good suggestions for parents of clumsy kids.

And as far as pumpkin carving goes — you better have all possible clean-up/medical supplies at hand and a guaranteed ride to the ER, just in case. This a great alternative to carving pumpkins, especially if you have young children!


paper problems

October 27, 2008

Dealing with paper is an everyday event and so are my problems with it. Whether it’s computer paper, a newspaper or a sticky note, I always end up with at least a paper cut each day. Luckily, I’ve been injured by paper so often that I know exactly how to deal with it.

My worst experience with paper happened while I was covering a cake with wax paper.

I attempted to simply rip a sheet of wax paper from the roll using the serrated edge on the side of the box. Rather than cutting the paper, I followed through with the box’s edge until it lodged into my arm just shy of the major vein in my wrist.

My paper-induced scar

My paper-induced scar

Going to church and school the following days with a huge bandage across my wrist as if I had attemped suicide was really fun.

Another funny “cut story” that I saw recently: I was watching “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” earlier and laughed out loud when the father sprayed Windex on a cut. Unfortunately, Windex doesn’t really cure everything.

I think that as long as it’s noticeably too small of a cut to require emergency room care, putting some antibiotic ointment and a bandage is usually enough.

However, this blog’s list of home remedies (#14) suggests that crazy glue can be used to suture a larger cut — I’m a little skeptical. It also suggests chapstick. I would be more willing to try the latter.

need-to-know basis

October 24, 2008

Getting my face painted at a parade

Getting my face painted at a parade

Being a klutz is more than just being clumsy, it’s a way of life.

For example, whenever I go places or to special events, there’s always one thing (or more than one thing) that I forget.

And it always happens to be the most important thing, like sunscreen or directions.

So, since it’s homecoming at the University of Florida, where I am a student, this weekend, this list of safety tips and reminders about parades is something every klutz needs to know.

Things to know when planning for a parade:

  • Find out where lost children are taken at the parade location.
  • Figure out where the parade route begins and ends. (I find that the end is usually the best place to be because the people on the floats are trying to get rid of everything they’ve been holding out on during the rest of the parade.)
  • DO NOT cross the barricades to go grab candy or prizes on the street. Want to know why this is such a bad idea? This article about a boy who died while doing just that is enough to scare any parent.
  • Check to see if animals are allowed before you bring the family dog.
  • Check the weather. If it is going to be warm, don’t forget the sunscreen. If it’s going to be cold, bring a jacket that you can take off because you may get hot while screaming for beads. If it’s going to rain, bring a poncho (I find these are better suited for parades than umbrellas because they don’t block the view of those behind you).
  • Bring snacks or toys for kids in case they get hungry or bored.
  • Wear comfortable shoes and prepare to be standing for a long time while waiting for the parade to begin.
  • Lawn chairs are always a good idea, especially at bigger parades, because the gutters on the side of the road can get pretty dirty which makes sitting on the curb not so tempting.
  • BRING WATER. Even if it is going to be cold, raining or nighttime, water at events like this is always over priced.

Leave a comment if you can think of anything really important that I forgot!

Parade Beads

Parade Beads

my poor toes

October 21, 2008

Of all the parts of my body that have suffered due to my clumsiness, my toes are the worst.

The only bone I’ve actually managed to break is my baby toe, and I broke it while running through the house to turn off the TV, getting it caught in the wheel of a chair and falling face-first.

This blog suggests that exercises aren’t the only way to improve coordination; nutrition should also be considered.

fingernail torture

October 17, 2008

My obsessive compulsive nail biting may not be a matter of clumsiness, but when you’re biting your nail and accidentally rip the majority of it off, that’s pretty unlucky.

I just recently found out that nail biting is actually a condition known as onychophagia. This Yahoo article gives a good basic overview of the condition along with some treatment options, such as bitter-tasting nail polish or wearing gloves.

I’ve also heard that putting lemon juice or Tabasco sauce on your nails will leave a lasting taste. However, that probably wouldn’t be the best option for those of us who love lemons and Tabasco sauce.

There can also be some pretty terrible side effects to biting your nails, like increased chance of infection, gingivitis or nail deformity, according to this site. The site also has a lot more useful information as well as a message board for nail biters and a shop.

friends in low places

October 14, 2008

The saying “Misery loves company” couldn’t be more true.

Every klutz I know tends to gravitate towards those equally, if not more, clumsy than themselves. This blog is just further proof of that fact. I think we do it because it makes us feel a little more graceful or lucky…

For example, I considered myself pretty clumsy until I met my friend. She has the worst luck, literally.

Currently she has two staff infection break-outs, strep throat and a lump on her head from when a baton hit her from two stories up. She just can’t seem to get a break.

It may seem mean, but it’s absolutely true: she makes me feel like I have all the luck.

murphy’s law

October 9, 2008

Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.

Murphy must have been a klutz to have said something so true.

If you have a problem with Murphy’s law in your professional life, this blog offers some words of wisdom, such as: if you can’t do without it, make sure you don’t have to.

If you check that blog out, make sure to look back at the first post because it gives some really great explanations of how Murphy’s law interferes in everyday life for everyone.

And if you ever have a really bad day and you think that Murphy is looking down and laughing at you, just read this blog and you will instantly feel better about your day.

cat scratch fever

October 7, 2008

I’m not talking about the song by Ted Nugent. I’m talking about the hundreds of scratches any cat owner would be familiar with and the possible negative side effects of those scratches — besides the bleeding and scarring.

I live with my 2-year-old cat and my roommate’s kitten, therefore I have at least one scratch per week.

Anyone with a cat, or who knows someone who has one, should know how to properly care for a scratch wound, cat scratch fever or not. (I, for one, was surprised to learn from that article that the disease can be caught by being bitten or licked by a cat, especially a kitten.)

I know from experience that the only thing you can usually do is put ice on the wound to reduce swelling and cover it with a bandage to keep the scratch from getting infected.

For the more serious symptoms, like swelling of the lymph nodes, that may occur after a scratch, I found this emergency medicine blog that says that a round of antibiotics is the most extensive treatment. Those can easily be prescribed by the family doctor, usually.

The only sure way to keep from being scratched by your cat is to get their claws removed. This article on declawing explains the pros, cons, and opinions of vets on the topic.

It’s a pretty controversial surgery among cat lovers, but my cat has her front paws declawed and she still manages to get me with the back ones. So, surgery might not be the answer to avoid injuries, despite the fact that it saves your furniture.

i wish i were an elephant

September 25, 2008

Now for the third “f” — Forgetfulness.

A teacher once told my class, “Women are like elephants: they never forget.”

I wish she hadn’t been lying. As a woman, I can honestly say: that is one of the least true statements I have ever heard. Women can be the most forgetful beings on Earth. I probably forget things as much as, if not more than, I injure myself.

And, it’s not just little things, like the keys and to eat, that I forget. I forget things like job requirements, class and appointments with various organizations I’m involved with.

Forgetfulness is a national epidemic, at least in my opinion. It definitely runs in my family — I’ll never forget the year that the Easter bunny forgot to come…

I found this interesting thought on one blog: we never forget anything, we just don’t bother to recall some things is all.

I like that idea — all of the big and small things I forget aren’t that important in the long run, so maybe I’m subconsciously blocking them on purpose.

“f” number two

September 23, 2008

The talk of falling leads me to the second “f” — face.

In my experience, any injury that happens to your face doubles as an insult. When you cut, scrape or bruise your face, you are looking at a long week of questions  like, “What’s wrong with your face?” and those questions are always good for the self esteem.

Because it is so important for injuries on your face to clear up quickly, I am going to focus on remedies with this one.

I’ve been trying to think of all the different ways that I have injured my face and I found this article this outline of all of the main ways people injure their faces.

Depending on where you hurt yourself, there are completely different treatments. The WebMD article above outlines some really good basic treatments for every part of your face and every type of minor injury.

Coming up: “f” number three…