Think twice and stay safe

Victoria Day marks the start of trauma season for London Health Sciences Centre

Think twice and stay safeThe unofficial start of summer brings with it another launch that London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC) would prefer not to see- the start of trauma season.

Last summer there were more than 350 severe traumas treated at London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC) from May-September. 

"Each year we see an increase in the number of severe injuries as the weather warms up and outdoor activities increase," says Jane Harrington, injury prevention specialist, LHSC. "Summer should be a time for fun and relaxation, but safety shouldn't be forgotten".

The most prevalent cause of injury in 2014 was motor vehicle collisions (MVCs), which accounted for two-thirds of injuries, with all-terrain vehicles accounting for almost a quarter of MVCs involving young adults. Alcohol was involved in 16 per cent of all traumas.  

This holiday weekend, LHSC's injury prevention team would like everyone to think twice and stay safe. Traumatic injuries are preventable and a few safety reminders can ensure that everyone remains safe while enjoying summer activities:

Road safety - Remain focused. Do not allow yourself to become distracted while driving. Always drive sober. If you've been drinking, ask a sober friend for a ride or call a cab. If you're planning to drink, make sure you have a designated driver. Look out for pedestrians, cyclists, children and other drivers-share the road, be courteous and respectful.

On the long drive to the cottage or on the road to visit friends, please slow down, pay attention and share the road.  Frustration over traffic, taking that final work phone call or email, or "having a drink for the road" before you head out can have deadly consequences.

Wheeled activities (bicycling, rollerblading, skateboarding) - Wear safety gear - every time. It is the law in Ontario that children and adolescents, under the age of 18, must wear a bicycle helmet while riding a bicycle on roadways or sidewalks. Wear it correctly - A helmet should fit 2 fingers above the brow, the straps should be positioned in a "V' formation around the ears and one finger should fit between the chin and the fastened strap.

Yard work - Never allow children or pets in the yard while you are using power tools. This includes a lawn mower (riding or push), weed whacker, edger, hedge clippers, chainsaw, or any dangerous cutting machine. While using a ladder, have a spotter and only have one person on the ladder at a time.

Water safety - Keep your family safe by supervising children in and around the water. Keep them within sight and arms' reach. Make sure young children and weak swimmers wear personal flotation devices at all times. Alcohol should never be a part of boating. 

LHSC's Trauma Program would like to see the trauma room empty this weekend. Stay safe and have a wonderful holiday!