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Healthcare professionals provide summer safety advice



Indianapolis, Indiana – Family-friendly summertime activities abound, but medical professionals caution that without the right supervision and security measures, you could get hurt or end up in the hospital.

Ascension St. Vincent and Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital’s outreach and injury prevention coordinator Lori Baldwin is a nurse. She claims that while using fireworks might be entertaining, there are some safety issues to take into account.

“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 suggests assigning one person to start the fireworks. At Ascension St. Vincent, Dr. Jeffery Gibbs oversees the Burn Center. A firework that doesn’t go off the first time should not be tried to be relit, the speaker cautions.

“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.

Sparklers are entertaining for both children and adults, according to Dr. Gibbs, but they still carry a risk of harm.

“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.

According to Baldwin, if you receive a burn, apply cool water to the area and, if required, seek medical assistance right away.

Swimming is another summertime activity. As stated by Baldwin, oversight is preventive.

“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.

Additional safety measures are required if you are swimming in an open natural body of water.

“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.”

Wearing swimwear in vivid colors can help you stay as visible as possible in any body of water.

“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.”

According to Baldwin, combining any of these activities with alcohol can result in harm or even 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.”

It’s crucial to drink enough of water and take precautions against the sun’s rays as the days grow hotter. Women should drink 11.5 glasses of water daily, while males should drink 15.5 cups.

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