Summer is rapidly approaching. Soon, kids will be out of school, barbecues will sizzle, and temperatures will climb.
In health care, we refer to summer as "trauma season." In our world, un-helmeted ATV riders, auto-pedestrian accident victims, and injured skateboarders all replace relaxation. Our emergency department—as well as our trauma team—gets busy.
With that said, following these simple safety tips may prevent you from becoming our next trauma patient:
- Wear a helmet—Helmet use while riding ATVs, scooters, bikes, skateboards, longboards--pretty much anything with wheels for that matter—will reduce your chances of sustaining a significant injury when you crash. Nearly 40 percent of the ATV riders the trauma team cares for are not wearing a helmet.
- Wear a seat belt—According to our partners at Zero Fatalities, if you are wearing a seat belt but the passenger next to you isn't, they are putting you at 40 percent more risk for death or injury. Injuries sustained in motor vehicle collisions—the second-highest cause of injury treated at our trauma center--can be prevented by wearing a seat belt. Wear your seatbelt. Make sure all of your passengers are wearing theirs. And limit any distractions while driving.
- Stay alert as a pedestrian—Pedestrian accidents are common in the summer. Most auto-pedestrian accidents happen in intersections, according to Zero Fatalities. Pedestrians need to stay alert while walking. Keep your head up and eliminate distractions in order to stay safe.
Another quick and easy way to avoid a trip to the emergency room this summer is checking for accidents waiting to happen around your home. Look for trip hazards. Keep young children away from window screens. Be careful around campfires and backyard fire pits. And limit trampoline jumpers to one at a time.
If you or someone you love is injured this summer, our trauma team will be here to take care of you. But we'd much rather you strap on your helmet, fasten your seatbelt and look both ways when crossing the street. Enjoy your summer!