Simple precautions can reduce summer injuries, Oakwood officials say

Danger from errant fireworks or extreme heat are readily apparent, but there are plenty of other summertime activities that could send you or your loved ones to an urgent care facility or emergency room.

As the weather warms up, people are generally more active and that activity can translate into additional hazards, said John Cargill, trauma and emergency management coordinator at Oakwood Hospital –Wayne.

“We see a lot of injuries that could have been avoided if people just take a few simple precautions,” he said.

Bike safety
Children sustain more than 275,000 nonfatal bicycle injuries annually. Even worse, about 140 of those accidents, on average, result in fatal injury. Bike helmets would reduce that number dramatically, according to Cargill.

Be a good example for your children: always wear a bike helmet and make sure they do, too.

Be a good example for your children: always wear a bike helmet and make sure they do, too.

“Helmets reduce the risk of brain injury by 90 percent, he said, “and it is estimated that 75 percent of fatal head injuries would be prevented by wearing a bike helmet. “

Around the pool
Drowning is the leading cause of unintentional death in children younger than 5 years old. Each year, more than 830 children ages 14 and younger die as a result of drowning and about 3,600 injuries per year occur in children due to near-drowning incidents.

Home swimming pools are the most common place for a child age 5 or younger to drown. The majority of infant drowning deaths in children younger than 1 year old occur in bathtubs, buckets, or toilets. Never leave your children unattended, or leave a child to supervise a younger child.

Lawnmowers
It’s not just a potential scene in a horror movie: lawnmowers can cause serious injuries. Injuries from lawnmowers are, in fact, the leading cause of traumatic amputation in children, according to Cargill.

Lawnmowers can be dangerous. Don't forget your shoes!

Lawnmowers can be dangerous. Don’t forget your shoes!

“Objects ejected from a lawn mower can travel at speeds up to 200 miles per hour and strike with a force three times that of a .357 magnum bullet,” he said.

Cargill said to ensure you check your lawn carefully for debris before you start to cut. Wear shoes—not flip-flops—and not to allow extra passengers on tractors or riding lawnmowers.

Button batteries
Button batteries are actually a year-round hazard, not just a summertime concern, because of the increasing use of devices powered by them. They account for about 3,500 calls per year to poison control centers.

“The most serious cases involve nickel-sized 20mm diameter batteries,” said Cargill. “These can get stuck in a child’s throat and burn through the esophagus in as little as two hours.” Treatment can be lengthy and require feeding and breathing tubes, as well as multiple surgeries.

Oakwood provides emergency services at each of its four hospitals and as several urgent care facilities throughout the metro Detroit area. By practicing a little extra caution, however, you will reduce your risk of needing one.

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