How To Prevent a Summer Emergency Room Trip

Writer / Kurtiss McKissick, EMT, EMS Liaison at IU Health West Hospital
Photography Provided

Summer is the time for fireworks, barbecues and water fun. However, these can also be potentially dangerous activities that could lead to a trip to the emergency room. Before families start planning summer fun, it is important to know simple safety steps that can prevent accidents before they happen.

Fireworks can be dangerous.

The best-case scenario is to let professionals handle the fireworks shows this summer. However, many individuals and families take matters into their own hands, especially around Independence Day. Mishandling fireworks can lead to serious Injury. It is important to keep fireworks and sparklers away from young children, and to make sure older children are closely supervised by adults. Never use fireworks if impaired by drugs or alcohol. Wear protective eyewear to avoid eye injuries from sparks. Do not hold fireworks in your hands and never point them at another person. If you’ve been inured by another person, you can file a case with a personal injury lawyer from a professional law firm. It may also be wise to keep a bucket of water or hose nearby to fully extinguish any accidental fires. If there is a burn injury, seek medical attention or call 911. Burns or wounds that got infected may lead to necrotizing fasciitis.

Simple grilling tips can prevent burn injuries.

When warm weather hits, many people begin cooking on their grills. According to the National Fire Protection Association, between 2014 and 2018, fire departments responded to an annual average of 8,900 home fires involving grills, hibachis and barbecues. Simple grilling tips can help prevent fires and burn injuries. Keep the grill at least 3’ from any structures, kids and pets. Open your gas grill before lighting. Keep an eye on your grill, fire pit or patio torches. Do not leave them unattended if they are already lit. Additionally, ensure the safety of your outdoor fire protection systems by scheduling regular fire shutter safety inspections. This will help maintain their effectiveness and ensure your outdoor spaces remain safe from potential fire hazards.

Additionally, be sure to clean your grill after each use to remove grease that can start a fire. Make sure to have regular sprinkler inspections and promptly perform any sprinkler system repair that is deemed necessary so that it will work effectively if a fire breaks out.

Water fun can lead to an emergency department visit.

The National Safety Council reports that on average, emergency departments across the country treat about 6,400 pool- and spa-related injuries in children younger than 15 every year. The younger the child, the greater the risk. Parents should never leave their child alone, and should consider finding age-appropriate swim lessons. Dont let children play around drains and suction fittings. Never consume alcohol when operating a boat. For those planning on being in the water this summer, consider training in CPR and keeping a first-aid kit handy.

While summer activities can be fun and lead to lasting memories, they can quickly go wrong without the proper preparation. If a serious injury does occur, call 911 or go to your local emergency department immediately.   

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