4 Ways to Keep you out of the ER on Memorial Day Weekend

prevent injury memorial day weekend ER

Trauma experts at Intermountain Medical Center's Level I Trauma Center and Life Flight crews providing four tips on how people can prevent injuries, thus making Memorial Day weekend memorable… in a good way.

Every 10 minutes there is a crash on Utah roads. Every 36 hours, there is a death as a result of a motor vehicle crash. Life Flight crews typically get called out to traffic accidents across Utah, and many of the injuries sustained from the wreck could have been avoided had the person been wearing a seatbelt. 

“We like to work together with Zero Fatalities to encourage seat belt use, because the act of wearing a seatbelt is proven to save lives,” said Brad Morris, physician assistant with Intermountain Medial Center’s Trauma Program.

Tragedies can happen in the blink of an eye, and drowning is the second leading cause of death among Utah children under the age of 14. Experts at Primary Children’s Hospital provide general water safety tips, which include:
  • Never take your eyes off of children in the water
  • While supervising, stay alert and avoid distractions
  • Keep a telephone nearby in case of an emergency
  • Teach children to swim, but remember, there is no substitute for supervision
“Rivers are running high and cold this time of year and we typically see a case or two of hypothermia from someone who fell in the cold water,” said Morris. “Children should be supervised whenever they are in or around water. While it may be beneficial to have a child wear a life jacket whenever they are near water, parents should still watch their children closely at all times.”

Each year, more than 1,200 people die and thousands are injured in bicycle, roller blade, scooter or skateboard accidents. ATVs are another source of injuries. In Utah, 22 youth died in ATV-related crashes between 1999 and 2011, and only 58 percent of Utahns report wearing a helmet while riding an ATV.

“Put a helmet on if you are going to be riding a bike or ATV,” said Marvin Proctor, RN, with Life Flight. “They do save lives. The people that fall with a helmet on generally get back on their bikes and ride away. Those who don’t, we may have to come pick them up and transport them to an ER.”

People who enjoy the backcountry need to be prepared for whatever conditions they may encounter. Too many people don’t bring enough water or don’t know what the weather will be like until they find themselves in a sudden downpour. Know what the weather is going to be like, including temperature so you can bring the appropriate clothing. 

“The key to the majority of injuries seen in our emergency department is that they are preventable,” concluded Morris. “Wear a seatbelt, be responsible around water, wear a helmet and be prepared for any adventures you embark on. It will make your Memorial Day weekend memorable in all the right ways.”