Summertime safety tips from University Hospital's Trauma Unit

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WHAS11.com

Posted on June 20, 2013 at 11:00 AM

Updated Thursday, Jun 20 at 11:00 AM

From KentuckyOne Health:

Summertime Safety Fact Sheet

 

The backyard is often the central hub of summertime family activities.  Whether it be a neighborhood cookout or playing on the swing set, parents should be mindful of the potential dangers and take simple steps to prevent injury and harm.

 

  • Insects can carry threatening diseases, so be sure to regularly apply insect repellant. Check children and pets for ticks after playing outside, especially when near wooded areas.
  • Never leave a child unattended near a pool or other body of water.
  • Ensure that swing sets and other play equipment offer a safe place to land in the event of a fall.
  • Check your yard for poisonous plants and teach your children to never put any berries, plants or flowers in their mouths. Be mindful that many fertilizers, pesticides and cleaners can be poisonous.
  • Keep children away from grills and other outdoor cooking supplies and keep the grill away from other objects, including the house and bushes.

 

The summer sun can be fun, but beware of sunburns, a significant risk factor in the development of skin cancer. Always be sure to wear sunscreen rated SPF-15 or higher and reapply often. Be aware that the sun is strongest between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., so limit time outside during these hours. According to the CDC, Kentucky had the sixth highest melanoma death rate nationally from 2002-2006.

 

Brain injuries are common among many summer sports and activities. According to the Brain Injury Alliance of Kentucky, one in five Kentucky families report they have at least one family member with a brain injury.

 

  • Every year, at least 1.7 million traumatic brain injuries occur either as an isolated injury or along with other injuries.
  • Concussions and other brain injuries are most common among infants, children, teens and the elderly (65 and older).
  • Headache (85%) and Dizziness (70-80%) are most commonly reported symptoms immediately following concussions for injured athletes.

 

If you or someone you love starts to exhibit signs of serious medical conditions or experiences an injury, be sure to seek medical attention immediately. In case of a medical emergency, always call 9-1-1.


Summertime Safety Key Messages

 

A number of summertime injuries are preventable simply by taking some basic precautions.

 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) approximately 570 Americans die every year from heat exposure.

Use caution when spending time in the sun. The sun is strongest between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., so limit time outside during these hours. Choose cooler, early morning or evening hours for outdoor activities.

When it’s hot out, limit physical activity as much as possible. If exertion is required, be sure to take frequent breaks in a cool place and drink plenty of water.

Brain injuries resulting from a fall, bicycle crash, sports injury or dives into a shallow pool are also common during the summer months. 

 

It is also important to avoid sunburns, a significant risk factor in the development of skin cancer. According to the CDC, Kentucky had the sixth highest melanoma death rate nationally from 2002-2006.

 

According to the Brain Injury Alliance of Kentucky, one in five Kentucky families report they have at least one family member with a brain injury.

 

CDC research indicates that 75 percent of all traumatic brain injuries are concussions. A concussion is a serious injury and should not be taken lightly, even if the person is experiencing minimal symptoms.

 

Always wear protective gear when riding a bike, skateboarding or riding a motorized vehicle like an ATV or motorbike. Be sure that a child’s gear is fitted and secured appropriately.

 

Summer often includes trips away from home. When travelling, be sure to know the location of the nearest medical facility in the event that you or your family has a medical emergency.

 

If you or someone you love starts to exhibit signs of a serious medical condition or injury, be sure to seek medical attention immediately. In case of a medical emergency, always call 9-1-1.

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