Healthcare providers share tips to stay safe during the summer
INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Summer is full of activities that are fun for the whole family, but healthcare professionals warn without proper supervision and safety precautions, these activities could land you with injuries or in the hospital.
Lori Baldwin is a nurse and the outreach and injury prevention coordinator at Ascension St. Vincent and Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital. She says fireworks can be a fun way to celebrate summer holidays but do require some safety considerations.
“There is always potential for injury when we are literally playing with fire,” Baldwin said. ” I think making sure there is a very large clear area around where the firework is being launched or displayed from.”
Baldwin also recommends having one person designated to light the fireworks. Dr. Jeffery Gibbs is the director of the Burn Center at Ascension St. Vincent. He warns against attempting to relight a firework that does not go off the first time.
“I would douse that in water or soak it in water, but don’t try to relight it because that’s where a lot of accidents can happen,” Gibbs said.
Dr. Gibbs also says that while sparklers are fun for kids and adults, they can still cause injury.
“Although sparklers are small in size compared to some of these other fireworks they burn upwards of 2000 degrees, so if you accidentally step on one it can do a significant amount of damage in that local area,” Gibbs said.
Baldwin says if you get a burn pour cool water over the skin and get medical attention as soon as possible when necessary.
Summertime also comes with swimming. Baldwin says supervision is prevention.
“Anyone that’s in the pool, certainly if it’s a baby, we want to keep our eyes on them but even if it’s an experienced safe swimmer, it’s important to have someone else around just in case of an emergency,” Baldwin said.
If you are swimming in an open natural body of water extra safety precautions are necessary.
“If you are at a lake and the bottom is not visible that’s an extra hazard,” Baldwin said. “There could be natural objects, rocks, sticks, and branches in the water. We always want to remind people to wade in carefully. Never go into any body of water headfirst.”
In any body of water wearing bright-colored swimsuits is important to stay as visible as possible.
“Life jackets are required on a watercraft,” Baldwin said. “Children should have them on and there should be one on every vessel for every person in case of emergency.”
Baldwin says mixing alcohol with any of these activities can lead to injury or death.
“My best advice is just don’t do it. Don’t drink and drive. Don’t drink and boat. Don’t drink and do your fireworks. Just don’t do it,” Baldwin said. “It puts too many people, yourself, and others at a risk that could just be catastrophic in the end.”
As the days get hotter, it is important to stay hydrated and protect yourself from the heat. Healthcare providers recommend 11.5 cups of water a day for women and 15.5 for men.