The emergency department tends to be busier during the warmer months with concerns, including lacerations, abrasions, fractures, head trauma, back pain, and eye injuries. Many of these injuries can happen right in your house or front yard, so use caution and watch out for these common safety hazards.
1. Mowing the lawn
Lawn mowers and gardening tools, like weed whackers, can be dangerous. Children should never be allowed to play anywhere near mowers. Objects hidden in the grass, such as rocks, screws, or metal wire fragments, can become dangerous projectiles, striking the body or the eye. Wear protective eyewear and turn the mower completely off before clearing grass from the lawn mower. The moving blades can result in lacerations or even finger amputations.
2. Lifting heavy objects
Back pain is one of the most common complaints in the ER all year long. Back injuries can occur with lifting, bending, and twisting that is performed improperly. Whether you’re organizing the garage or cleaning closets, practice good lifting techniques — use proper posture by lifting with your legs, not your back. Get help with lifting heavy furniture and wear a supportive back brace or lift belt for additional support.
For the safety of children, always keep chemicals, such as pesticides, out of reach and locked up with secure lids. Never store chemicals in anything once used for food or drink. Unfortunately, serious injury and death have occurred in children who mistook chemicals for soda pop. In addition, do not mix chemicals unless you’re following specific directions, as this can produce hazardous fumes. If you or your child might be poisoned, get help immediately. Call 911 or the Utah Poison Control Center at 800-222-1222.
4. Dog bites
More interactions with dogs are common this time of year. Typically, an owner will trust their dog as it might have a history of good behavior at home. However, some dogs may not be properly socialized and will show aggression when interacting – and people can get caught in the middle. Many dog bites require treatment, such as antibiotics and proper wound management, including stitches. Proper rabies vaccination will need to be confirmed in the animal, and if not, the animal will require quarantine. In rare cases, a dog bite victim may need injections to prevent a rabies infection. If your dog is responsible for the injury you may be liable. To help prevent incident, keep your dog on a leash anytime there is a risk of interacting with unfamiliar people and animals.
5. Longboarding/skateboarding, bikes, and scooters
Injuries associated with skateboards, bikes, and scooters are very common in the emergency department. Broken arms, lacerations, and head injuries are some of the injuries presented in emergency departments. Particularly, longboarding at uncontrolled speeds is dangerous. Emergency departments will see longboarders ride down a hill on the open road and end up with multiple, serious injuries. In addition to helmets, wrist and hand guards are helpful to avoid abrasions and lacerations. Remind loved ones to watch their speed and stay in control.
A reminder to all
By following all of these safety precautions and using good judgement you can help prevent these potential spring injuries and keep your family safe.