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Keep on, Adventuring

Published online: Jul 08, 2024 Health & Wellness
Viewed 1147 time(s)

Story by Casey Jackman

Summer is a time for adventuring. A time to get outside. A time to live life to the fullest. 

Summer should not be a time to end up in the hospital. Unfortunately, the activities of the season come with some risks. To help keep you safe and having fun, the team at Idaho Falls Community Hospital developed tips to combat some of the most common injuries they treat in the emergency department each summer. 


Motorized Sports:

Lots of things bring people into the emergency department – sickness, dizziness, burns and more. But during the summer months, four-wheeler, dirt bike and ATV accidents are responsible for sending a steady stream of patients to Idaho Falls Community Hospital. 

“While wearing a helmet and protective gear may not prevent you from getting into an accident, it will significantly reduce your chances of being seriously injured,” said Dr. Jerry Smedley, an emergency medicine specialist at Idaho Falls Community Hospital. “A large percentage of the patients we treat in the emergency department following an ATV accident were not wearing the proper safety gear and they end up suffering more because of it.” 

If you are going ATVing this summer, consider taking a hands-on training course, always follow safety recommendations, keep an eye on the terrain and never drink and drive. 


Water Safety:

Across the United States, accidental drowning rates are rising for the first time in decades. Sadly, according to the CDC, an average of 12 people die from drowning each day. 

“In the same amount of time it takes to respond to a text message or go grab a glass of water, tragedy can strike if the right precautions aren’t followed,” said Pediatric Specialist Dr. Keely Kubly. “When you have little ones near the water, they should wear lifejackets, be within arm’s reach and have constant, active supervision.” 

If you or your children do not know how to swim, summer is the perfect time to sign up for swim lessons.  


Eyewear:

While mowing the lawn, repairing the fence and scrubbing the bathroom may all seem like fairly harmless activities, do not be fooled. These tasks have hidden dangers, especially for your eyes. 

“The eyes are delicate. Unfortunately, it doesn’t take much for them to become injured. A flying twig, sawdust and household chemicals can pose pretty serious risks if not addressed immediately,” said emergency medicine specialist Dr. Scott Cross. “If you are having trouble seeing, notice any blood around your eye or are in pain, it is time to seek medical attention.” 

According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, only 3 out of 10 people wear protective eyewear during projects that have the potential to hurt their eyes. Fortunately, simply throwing on a pair of glasses can reduce your risk of injury by 90%. 


Grill Safety: 

Over the last decade, grill-related injuries have increased by 18% according to ValuePenguin. Believe it or not, children under 5 accounted for a majority of these injuries. 

“We treat a lot of children for grill-related burns,” said Shelby Wiser, a pediatric nurse at Idaho Falls Community Hospital. “Children can easily bump, touch or fall into a hot grill or coals. If you are grilling, make sure the grill is placed away from high-traffic areas and never left unattended.”

To help reduce your chances of getting burnt while grilling, always clean the grill before use and never add starter fluid after the grill is on. Once the grill is fired up, do not try to move it. If it needs to be relocated, wait until it has fully cooled down. Remember, grills don’t have to be in use to cause burns; warm grills can be just as dangerous.

While Idaho Falls Community Hospital hopes your summer adventures lead you into the mountains and not into the emergency department, if you happen to take a wrong turn, a team of highly trained nurses and doctors are always standing by to help get you back on your feet and living life to the fullest.   

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