CHI Health cautions of ‘100 deadliest days of summer’

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LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) – The trauma prevention program at CHI Health St. Elizabeth Hospital is warning of the 100 deadliest days of summer and offering tips to reduce injuries and visits to the emergency department.

As the weather warms up and more people get outside, visits to the hospital’s emergency department increase, CHI Health says.

“Teens are likely to be carrying more friends in the car during summer months. They’re likely to be out later at night and that’s when the risk of crashes increases,” said Dr. Anthony Cook, medical director at St. Elizabeth’s emergency room. “Remind your teen drivers to put the phone down, slow down, be aware, limit distractions and get there safely.”

The period between Memorial Day and Labor Day is coined the “100 deadliest days of summer.”

At that time, millions are expected to be checked into ERs across the country; youths are at an especially increased risk.

CHI Health hospitals expect an increase in water accidents, head injuries and broken bones from roller sports, trampolines and summer sports during this period.

Firework injuries, heatstroke, sunburns, and injuries due to ATV and car crashes are also common.

“We see a lot of heat-related injuries,” Cook said. “We see heatstroke and heat exhaustion. We see dehydration. Children out playing too long can be a victim, as can older people at home without an air conditioner.”

Many injuries can be prevented, according to CHI Health, by following safety guidelines, wearing proper safety equipment and consulting health care experts.

Below are some safety tips from CHI Health and SafeKids:

Travel Safety Tips
  • Buckling up on every ride is the single most important thing a family can do to stay safe in the car.

  • Seventy-three percent of car seats are not used or installed correctly.  Before you hit the road, check your car seat.

  • Use a booster seat with the vehicle lap and shoulder safety belts until your child passes the Safety Belt Fit Test.

  • Never leave your child alone in a car. Heatstroke is the leading cause of non-crash vehicle-related deaths for children.

  • If you’re planning to travel by air with babies or toddlers, bring your child’s car seat onto the plane. Check to make sure that the car seat is labeled “certified for use in motor vehicles and aircraft.”

  • If you’re visiting friends and family, talk to them ahead of time about being extra careful to keep small objects away from young kids.  This includes medications, which can look like candy; button batteries; magnets; small toys; and other objects small enough for children to swallow.

Swimming Safety Tips
  • Watch kids when they are in or around water, without being distracted.  SafeKids recommends using a Water Watcher card to designate a responsible adult to keep an eye on kids in the water at all times.

  • Teach children to swim with an adult.  Older, more experienced swimmers should still swim with a partner every time.

  • While swimming aids like water wings or noodles are fun toys for kids, officials recommend using a U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket in case of emergencies.

  • A large portion of boating accidents each year involve alcohol consumption by both boat operators and passengers.  To keep you and your loved ones safe, it is strongly recommended not to drink alcoholic beverages while boating.

Bike Safety Tips
  • Wear a properly fitted helmet.  It is the best way to prevent head injuries and death.

  • Ride on the sidewalk when you can.  If not, ride in the same direction as traffic as far on the right side as possible.

  • Use hand signals and follow the rules of the road.  Ride in a straight line and don’t swerve between cars.

  • Wear bright colors and use lights, especially when riding at night and in the morning.

  • Ride with your children until your kids are ready to ride on their own.

Grilling Safety Tips
  • Position the grill well away from siding, deck railings, eaves and overhanging branches – and a safe distance from lawn games, play areas and foot traffic.

  • Keep children and pets away from the grill area by declaring a 3-foot “kid-free zone” around the grill.

  • Keep all matches and lighters away from children. Teach your children to report any loose matches or lighters to an adult immediately.

Teen Driver Safety
  • Buckle up: every person, every time

  • Don’t drink and drive

  • Limit the number of passengers in a car

  • Don’t text and drive

  • Follow the speed limit

  • Only drive in the dark after extra practice

  • Speak up when any driver is driving unsafely

Categories: Health, Lancaster, Nebraska News, News