Six months of the year are behind us — IT’S SUMMER!!! Many people spend more time outdoors during this season of the year, and though we look forward to the sunshine and recreational activities that summer provides, there are also things we should be aware of in order to have a safe and enjoyable season.
According to experts, more than 200 people per day are injured from fireworks during the months of June and July. Most injuries were to hands, fingers, face, and eyes, and more than 50% of the injuries were burns. Two years ago, nine people died as a result of misuse of fireworks, and two of the victims were not handlers. As 4th of July approaches, remember that fireworks are illegal in Natrona County, but if you travel elsewhere, insure your safety and that of others, including children, by being careful with fireworks. And, with the exceedingly dry weather and environmental conditions, remember that fireworks can start a fire in your yard, on the prairie, or on the mountain.
The City of Casper hosts a Fireworks Festival which you and your family can enjoy – and sometimes you can view it from the added safety of your yard!
Other Causes of Injury and Death
According to national Safe Kids, one in four children aged 14 and under sustains injuries annually, and that 40 percent of all injury-related emergency room visits and 42 percent of all injury-related deaths happen during the summer months. Five common causes of child injuries during this time are falls at the playground, bicycle injuries, burns (campfires, fireworks), motorized vehicles (including ATVs), and drowning. A study by the Centers for Disease Control from 2000 – 2006 indicated the leading cause of unintentional death among children and youth under 19 was motor vehicle accidents. However, within the age group of 1 to 4 drowning was the leading cause of death.
Every summer thousands of children spend time at a pool, and if your kids will be among the throng, remind them about the “no running” rule at public pools – one slip and head meets concrete while body is thrust into the water. Drowning can happen even when adults are around but are preoccupied.
And, when boating at Alcova, on the river, or elsewhere, remember that life jackets save lives … and are required by law if a person is less than 13 years of age. Having floating throw rings also helps, and come in handy when someone is struggling, even with a life jacket. Fire stations throughout Casper loan flotation devices to boaters. Learn more about the program at https://truecarecasper.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/Life20Jacket20Program.pdf.
Also use caution floating the river or swimming in the local creeks. Be aware of and watch water levels as they can rise quickly. Our own nurse manager lost her ten-year-old son, Joshua, in a swimming accident in a creek that was usually mild and calm but had risen to unsafe levels during a water release. Rarely does a year go by without deaths in the North Platte River.
The good news is many of these injuries and deaths can be prevented. Simple acts of common sense and observation as well as proper equipment, such as bicycle helmets and life jackets, help prevent injuries or worse.
There are many other potential summer hazards, including insect stings, heat exhaustion and heat stroke, sunburn, and food poisoning like Salmonella (think picnics and potato salad!). All of these things can be combated by simple measures like insect spray, drinking plenty of water, applying appropriate sunscreen, and refrigerating food quickly.
If you’re a pregnant woman, summer can be miserable. But, there are many ways to “beat the heat,” including wearing breathable fabrics, going swimming, and carrying a squirt bottle to mist yourself. Also, remember to drink plenty of fluids, including water, juices, and sports drinks – it’s important to stay hydrated! Find more tips at this website: http://www.webmd.com/baby/features/summer-pregnancy.
Have a Safe Summer!
A lot of activities take place during the summer: traveling, camping, fishing, swimming, going to the fair, all of them fun and yet with certain dangers. But, many of those hazards can be alleviated with proper supervision, direction, equipment, and common sense. Take the precautions necessary for you and your family to have a fun, safe, and wonderful summer!