WICHITA FALLS, TX–It’s all fun in games until someone gets hurt this summer. United Regional’s trauma educator and registered nurse, Laura Pressler says when summer comes around, so do more ER visits. It’s the reason why she and others are doing their part to better educate the public on summer safety.
“We really want to encourage be out and be active and we want to encourage kids to do that this summer, the big thing is we want them to do it safely,” said Pressler.
To start off, Pressler emphasizes the importance of sun protection.
“The Skin Cancer Foundation says after just one blistering sunburn when you’re a child, your chances of getting a melanoma increases by 50%,” said Pressler. “It’s really really important 30 minutes before you go out in the sun, use a sunscreen with a high SPF and then after you’re out in the sun, every 2 hours you’ll want to re-apply that.”
Kids also need protection from the creepy crawlies that’ll be out in full force this summer like bees, ticks, mosquitos, and snakes.
Pressler says, “In our area we have a lot of snakes and we’ve had some pretty serious snake bites and especially with children. Snakes live where it’s cool and dark, so you want to teach your kids don’t go to place where there’s high grass or don’t reach under bushes for balls and things like that.”
And when it gets hot, you have to stay cool. Meaning, the local pools and lakes will be full of eager swimmers who need a watchful eye.
“According to the CDC,” said Pressler, “about 800 kids a year die from drowning and a lot of times from those drownings, there has been an adult present…it’s really important when you have a group of people especially to have one person or one adult designated to be the watcher.”
There’s also a condition known as dry drowning, which can almost go unnoticed for 24 hours until the symptoms show.
Pressler says if your child starts behaving unusually, they get drowsy, they start having a cough, then you really need to take them in to be seen by a physician.
And even though you’re in the water staying hydrated is key. Pressler says if you’re child is already saying that they’re thirsty, then they’re already starting to have dehydration. She also stresses the importance of never leaving a child in the car.
“A car in one minute can get 10 degrees hotter just by shutting the doors, so it’s really important to look before you leave,” said Pressler.
Pressler and C.P.N, Courtney Treach say a majority of kids that come through the ER are hurt because they didn’t wear padded protection.
“Here recently a few kids with some crush injuries, some of their extremities, broken arms, broken legs, and it just so happens that they weren’t wearing helmets,” said Treach.
“It’s really important to follow the rules, never ride two on a four wheeler and if you do, definitely follow the safety rules.” said Pressler.
For more on United Regional’s trauma services, click here