And you thought Ebola was scary?

While so many of us are caught up in the mass fear and media-driven hypochondria over the Ebola virus, I wanted to share some things you should actually be freaking out over:

Just when you thought West Africa couldn’t get any more frightening, did you know 2,900 people are killed every year by Hippopotamus attacks? Those terrible creatures can gallop 18 MPH! And to think, I took my kids to see one at the zoo a few years ago and we weren’t wearing our running shoes. I shudder just thinking about it.

Did you know approximately 100 people die every year from choking on pens? My son was chewing his pen last night while doing homework. I am just sick over how close we came to losing him.

Approximately 150 people are killed every year by falling coconuts. And this is exactly why I refuse to go anywhere tropical for our next family vacation. Pack your suitcases my darlings, we’re going to Russia for some family fun.

Scratch that, I just read that falling icicles kill 100 people in Russia every year. Family vacations are overrated.

Around 450 people die every year from falling out of bed. It will no longer be the thoughts of scary clowns that keep me up at night; it will be the terrifying two foot drop off I’m sleeping next to.

There are 1000 bicycle related deaths each year. Which is why I cling to my husband’s ankles every Monday evening as he tries to leave for a mountain bike ride, sobbing hysterically about how selfish he is to leave me alone to raise these ̶h̶̶e̶̶a̶̶t̶̶h̶̶e̶̶n̶̶s̶ kids.

Between 170 -190 people die every year from choking on popcorn, making it one of the Top 5 Deadliest Snacks. So next time my kids beg me to make popcorn, I will say no, not because I’m too lazy but because I care about their lives.

Jellyfish kill 40 people every year in the Philippines. Add that to falling coconuts and you’ve got a country way more terrifying than Liberia.

Vending machines kill 13 people every year and yet, we somehow never hear about this silent killer. The next time we walk by one of those death traps and my kid asks for a Snickers bar, I will feel completely justified to grab him and shriek for somebody to call 911.

2 million people die every year from Malaria transmitted by mosquitoes. TWO MILLION. And there is no vaccine.

According to the CDC, 36,000 people in the US die every year from the seasonal flu. 36,000. And although there is an effective vaccine, many choose not to get it.

Every day 9 people in the US are killed and 1,150 are injured from texting while driving. And yet we still haven’t put our phones away.

Ebola can kill you, but so can donkeys, ants and flying champagne corks. Turn off the news, wash your hands, don’t text while driving and don’t touch poop.

Renée Chalou

About Renée Chalou

Renée Chalou lives and raises her family in Presque Isle, where she owns a fitness center, LiveWell United. Her oldest son is in his second year at UMO, her daughter plans to attend UMPI in the spring and her youngest son is an active, happy 11 year old in 6th grade. From her life experiences as a homeschooling parent, blending a family, and transforming herself from an overweight, side-line mother to a competitive athlete mother and fitness leader in her community, she writes about what she knows: living life well even when it's not perfect. She writes about finding and clinging to the good even when it would be easy to focus on the bad, no matter what challenges life brings. Life in Northern Maine is wonderful, full of adventures and sub-zero temperatures. It's not for everybody and nobody claims it's easy. But it's a good life, it's hers and she'd like to share some of it with you.