Disclosure :: this post is sponsored by University Medical Center.
Everyone looks forward to summertime. It is the time of year that is less structured, with seasonal activities for the whole family to enjoy. But fun in the summertime can sometimes lead to unintended injuries. University Medical Center New Orleans is here to help with some summer safety tips from our Injury Prevention team.
Splash Into Summer Safely
It gets very hot in New Orleans in the summer. Swimming is one of the most popular ways to keep cool when things are sizzling; however, it is important to stay safe in the water.
- Make sure that young children or inexperienced swimmers wear U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets around water, but don’t rely on a life jacket alone to prevent drowning. Never leave children unattended near water and always maintain constant attention when supervising children around water.
- Learning to swim is one of the best ways to prevent anyone from drowning. It is never too late to learn how to swim. Swimming lessons are available to all age groups, including adults.
- Swimming with a buddy is not only fun, but also safe. If a swimmer is in danger, a friend can help, if safe to do so, or call 911 for help.
- Remember to only swim in designated swim areas and make sure there is a lifeguard on duty.
Play It Safe Around Fireworks
July 4th is America’s birthday. There is no better way to celebrate than watching fireworks. While fireworks are fun to enjoy, they also pose hazards to those using or near them. It is always best to let professionals control these explosive shows.
Safety should always be a priority with private use of fireworks, and they should always be handled by an adult with experience. Follow these fireworks dos and don’ts
- Consider safe alternatives, such as glow sticks and confetti poppers. Avoid sparklers, which can reach 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit
- Follow your local and state laws regarding fireworks
- Have a designated SOBER adult light all fireworks
- Light one firework at a time and move away quickly
- Keep children and other observers at a safe distance
- Keep a bucket of water close for disposal of fireworks
- Allow children to handle fireworks
- Attempt to alter, modify or relight fireworks
- Point or throw lit fireworks at anyone
- Ever hold lit fireworks in your hand
- Consume alcohol or drugs when lighting fireworks
If a burn injury does happen:
- Cool the burn with COOL water.
- Remove all clothing and jewelry from the burned area.
- Cover the area with a dry clean sheet or loose bandages.
- Seek medical attention immediately.
Check the Backseat
Children should never be left in a parked car, even for a moment. The temperature can reach 115 degrees inside a car when it is 70 degrees outside. The devastating fact is that children can die from heatstroke in cars, whether because they were left or became trapped. You may think that it could never happen to you, but this tragedy can and does happen to parents in all walks of life.
Follow these guidelines to keep your children safe:
- Be vigilant about always checking the back seat. Park, look, then lock and always ask, “Where is baby?
- Technology in cars and on some child safety seats have been added to decrease the risk of leaving a child behind, but if you don’t have a high tech solution these try these simple tips:
- Place your purse or wallet in the backseat
- Put a stuffed animal in the car seat when empty and put that stuffed animal in the front seat when the baby is with you.
- Put the diaper bag in the front seat
- Always lock your car doors to prevent children from climbing into cars while playing and accidentally locking themselves inside.
With vigilance, you and your family can have a fun and safe summer. If you find yourself with a minor injury or illness this summer, call or visit your primary care doctor. The LCMC Health Nurse Hotline is also available to answer your health questions or help you find the care that’s best for you. Call 504.962.6202 | Monday-Friday 8 am – 8 pm | Saturday-Sunday 8 am – 4 pm.
About the Author
Patricia D. Clesi, BSN, RN, is Injury Prevention Coordinator for the Trauma Program at University Medical Center Level 1 Trauma Center, leading outreach programs in the community to prevent injuries, including the Sudden Impact program for high school students and the School-based Trauma Outreach Program (STOP) for school-aged children.