Regions Hospital emphasizes safety ahead of Memorial Day weekend
Emergency centers are on alert with summertime activities expected to ramp up.
ST. PAUL, Minn. — The final weekend in May is the unofficial start of summer in Minnesota and Wisconsin. Families will head to cabins, lakes and other getaway spots for fun and relaxation.
May is also National Trauma Awareness Month. Regions was the first hospital in Minnesota to be verified as a Level I adult and pediatric trauma center. In partnership with Gillette Children’s, the emergency medicine and injury prevention experts at HealthPartners and Regions Hospital ask that safety be part of any Memorial Day weekend plans by sharing some of the most-common injuries and prevention tips.Water safety
As the weather heats up and kids and families jump into pools and lakes for the first time this season, it’s the perfect time for a water-safety refresher:
- Designate a water watcher. Choose one responsible adult at a time to supervise kids as they swim. But remember, if everyone is watching, no one is watching.
- When swimming or boating, wear a U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket that is appropriate for the child’s height and weight. Inflatable swimming guides (floaties) are no substitute for a properly fitting life jacket.
- Use designated swimming and recreational areas, when possible. These areas have been marked by professionals as safer places in the lake to swim.
- Teach kids the risks of swimming in open water, such as sudden drop-offs, poor visibility and distances that are longer than they appear.
Each year, the Regions Hospital Burn Center sees an average of 10 children with serious campfire burns. The median age is 2 years old and most (80%) injuries are from day-old campfires.
To prevent burns, keep kids away from fire pits and grills. Don’t assume a fire pit is cool – even the morning after a campfire. Seemingly cool logs can cause third-degree burns. Make sure kids are wearing shoes to prevent burns to the feet. Always extinguish fires with water. Never cover them with dirt or sand, which traps heat and makes it difficult for people to see.Heat-related illness
Anyone can be at risk of sunburn, heat exhaustion or heatstroke. Infants and older adults are most at risk. Signs of heat exhaustion include a red rash, elevated heart rate, headache, nausea and feelings of fatigue and lightheadedness. To prevent and treat heat exhaustion, drink water or sports drinks. If heat exhaustion is not treated, it can lead to heatstroke, which is more dangerous. Seek medical help if symptoms worsen or don’t get better within one hour.Fishhook injuries
Every year, the Regions emergency department treats patients for injuries related to fishhooks from the fishing opener to Labor Day. Many injuries happen when anglers are removing the hook from the fish. To prevent injuries:
- Put hooks that are not on a line in a puncture-resistant container. If the hook is on the line, get a hook retainer that attaches to the rod.
- Casting is dangerous, especially for eyes. Wear glasses.
- Another common injury is the fishhook in the foot. Don’t walk around the boat barefoot or in sandals. Wear shoes.
Alcohol is related to about half of all injuries and deaths from trauma. Drinking alcohol makes all the above activities more dangerous. If you drink, do so in moderation. Never drink and drive or operate a boat. Always have a sober, designated driver.Trampolines
Since 2016, Regions has had dozens of patients hospitalized due to injuries, including fractures, spinal cord trauma and cardiac arrest, from trampolines. Trampolines are dangerous and should be treated with the same amount of caution as swimming pools. The safest choice for families is to avoid them. Having one should come with rules that are followed.Level I for 30 years
Regions was designated as a Level I trauma center for adults in 1993, providing care for injured children as well. The American College of Surgeons later raised standards to require separate trauma certification for children, and Regions was granted Level I certification for pediatrics in 2009. Regions and Gillette share a facility and work together to provide care to children.
About Regions Hospital
Regions Hospital is part of HealthPartners, the largest consumer-governed, nonprofit health care organization in the nation with a mission to improve health and well-being in partnership with members, patients and the community. Regions Hospital is a Level I Trauma Center serving adults and children in Minnesota and western Wisconsin for more than 140 years. As a private, nonprofit teaching hospital, Regions Hospital provides outstanding care in women’s health, cardiology, oncology, surgery, orthopedics, neuroscience, burn, emergency care, mental illness and more. For more information, visit regionshospital.com.