Victoria Day, the unofficial start of summer, is also the unofficial start of trauma season

May 16, 2014

Last summer there were more than 400 severe traumas treated at London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC), which accounts for 62 per cent of the annual total.

“Unfortunately Victoria Day long weekend triggers trauma season for LHSC,” says Jane Harrington, injury prevention specialist, LHSC. “Each year we see an increase in the number of severe injuries as the weather warms up and outdoor activities increase.”

The most prevalent cause of injury in 2013 was motor vehicle collisions, which accounted for more severe injuries than all other causes combined, followed by falls. 17 per cent of all traumas involve alcohol. 

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

Driving safety – Remain focused on the driving task. 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 the 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 right - 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 you to stay out of our trauma room this weekend. Stay safe and have a wonderful long weekend

Victoria Day long weekend triggers trauma season for LHSC