In addition to fun and frivolity, summer celebrations can present hazards that could land a reveler in the Emergency Department.
Fireworks, food poisoning, and water accidents are just a few possible dangers that lurk at outdoor festivities.
SMC ED Medical Director Brenna Wynne, MD, offered this list of tips to help stay out of the ED this summer.
Food poisoning hits its peak during summer due to picnic goers consuming foods that have been left out in the heat for too long.
“Salads with ingredients such as mayonnaise, dairy, or eggs, and all meats can develop bacteria after only a couple hours left unrefrigerated,” Wynne said.
For more safety tips, visit usda.gov.
Swimming Pool Peril
One of the best spots to hang out during summer is in the swimming pool. However, tragedy awaits in the water if the proper steps to ensure safety are not taken:
- Never leave a child unattended in or near water
- Teach children how to swim at an early age
- Install fencing, barriers and alarms around the pool area
- Learn CPR in case of emergency
No one wants an unruly lawn while enjoying the outdoors, but there are many dangers surrounding a lawn mower.
“Toes, hands, and fingers can get caught and cut by the blade, and objects can be projected out from under the spinning blade,” Wynne said. “These are just a few accidents waiting to happen.”
To be safe while mowing, always:
- Wear closed-toe shoes, goggles or sunglasses, gloves and long pants
- Keep children away from all push and ride-on mowers
- Hire a professional to repair the mower
Even though the July 4th holiday has passed, fireworks can show up anytime during summer. Backyard and professional displays can cue the “Oohs” and the “Ahhs.” However, no one wants to hear the “Ouches,” so be sure to take serious safety precautions when enjoying the display.
“People mistakenly believe sparklers are innocent and able to be handled by children,” Wynne said. “Sparklers can burn as hot as 2,000 degrees and melt some types of metals.”
When fireworks are nearby:
- Protect eyes and hands at all times
- Keep a water hose or extinguisher nearby
- Keep children away from all fireworks including sparklers
If an accident occurs, wrap firework burns in a clean towel or T-shirt saturated with cold water and go directly to the ED.
In case of an accident, call 9-1-1 or get to the nearest emergency room immediately.