Spring cleaning as a safety risk: results of a population-based study in two consecutive years
1 Sina Trauma Research Center, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
2 Department of Community Medicine, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
BMC Public Health 2011, 11:631 doi:10.1186/1471-2458-11-631Published: 6 August 2011
Spring cleaning is a popular tradition in Iran as well as in many other countries. The purpose of our study was to determine the pattern and compare the incidence of spring cleaning related injuries in Tehran, in the years 2007 and 2008.
In the year 2007, a household survey was performed in Tehran by random cluster sampling. The survey was repeated in May 2008 with the same clusters and starting points, but different households. The incidence of spring cleaning related injuries, the age and sex of injured person(s), the mechanism, type and cost of injuries were recorded through semi-structured interviews. The incidence rates of injuries and injuries leading to health visits (severe) according to sex and age groups were calculated. Data were analyzed using SPSS and STATA statistical softwares.
The incidence of all and severe spring cleaning related injuries were 3.8 (3.0 - 4.8) and 1.6 (1.1-2.3) per 1000, respectively. The most common mechanisms of injuries were falls, followed by cutting and lifting heavy objects or overexertion. Falls were also the main mechanism of severe injuries. The most common injuries were open wounds, followed by superficial injuries (including contusions) and sprain and strain. Among severe injuries, the most frequent injuries were open wounds and contusions, followed by dislocations. The injuries were most common among women with an incidence of about 8.4 per 1000 in women older than 18 years of age (severe injuries: 3.4 per 1000 (2.2-5.1)).
The incidence of spring cleaning related injuries is high enough to raise concern in health system authorities. It could be estimated that about 23,927 to 38,283 persons get injured during the spring cleaning in Tehran at the beginning of every Persian new year. In addition, about 8,773-18,344 of these cases are expected to be severe enough to lead to medical attention (considering 7,975,679 as the population of Tehran at the time of study). Improving awareness of families, especially young women, regarding the scope and importance of spring cleaning safety can be suggested as the first population-based strategy to decrease the incidence of these injuries.