Thanks to Springfield Moms sponsor St. John’s Children’s Hospital for these safety tips.
Summer is the season for road trips, motorcycle rides and off-road excursions. Each year, motor vehicle accidents send more than 2 million Americans to the ED and cause approximately 500,000 traumatic brain injuries. These visits aren’t just the result of car accidents, either—motorcycles, dirt bikes and all-terrain vehicles account for a large number of cuts, broken bones and concussions, especially in the summer.
No matter what you’re driving, become an expert on the vehicle’s safety guidelines. If you enjoy all-terrain sports, know your skill level and limits before you hit the trails and avoid trails that have fallen into disrepair. Most importantly, always wear a helmet.
When the weather heats up, people flock to the water in order to stay cool. Whether you’re hanging out poolside, beachside or lakeside, all swimming areas pose some serious risks. One of the most common water-related dangers is spinal cord injury due to headfirst diving. Approximately 75 percent of these diving accidents occur in natural bodies of water, not pools.
Before you jump in, keep the following tips in mind:
• Always swim with a friend.
• Avoid alcohol consumption when swimming or operating any watercraft.
• Never dive headfirst into murky water or water that may have debris beneath the surface.
• The American Red Cross cautions against diving into water less than 9 feet deep.
Too Hot to Handle
Every Fourth of July, millions of Americans celebrate the nation’s birthday by shooting off fireworks in their backyards, and approximately 9,000 of them sustain injuries. In Illinois last year, one in three people hospitalized for a fireworks-related injury sustained second- or third-degree burns.
Here are a few safety guidelines from the National Council on Fireworks Safety:
• Always have water handy.
• Don’t try to tamper with or combine fireworks.
• Never relight a “dud” firework. Wait 20 minutes, then soak it in water.
• Obey local laws.
• Wear safety glasses when setting off fireworks.
Lawn Mower Woes
We’ve all seen the bright yellow caution signs on our lawn mowers, but it’s easy to ignore
them after years of use. If you think you’re immune to a lawn mower injury, think again—
approximately 80,000 people visit the ED every year because of a lawn mower accident.
Be aware of the placement of your feet and hands when operating a lawn mower. If your push mower begins to experience any problems, turn the mower off before examining it. When operating a riding mower, use caution going up and down hills and across slopes. Also, make sure your children are inside before mowing your lawn.
When Should I Visit the ER?
We all experience minor cuts and bruises now and again, but what if it’s something more serious? Some people put off a visit to the emergency room (ER) because they’re worried their symptoms are
not severe enough, or they believe they can treat the problem on their own. However, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. As a rule of thumb, conditions that warrant a trip to the ER include:
• Broken bones
• Chest pain or tightness
• Difficulty breathing
• Difficulty speaking or
• understanding others
• Excessive blood loss
• Food poisoning
• Head trauma
• Lightheadedness or fainting
• Severe allergic reactions
• Sudden, acute headache
For Everything Else
If your symptoms don’t appear to be life threatening, you may be better off visiting a local urgent care clinic.
Submitted by Springfield Moms sponsor St. John’s Children’s Hospital. For more information on their services, visit our Mom’s Choice Directory.