With summer heating up, Intermountain Health experts are reminding Nevadans about the importance of staying safe when out traveling in mountains, canyons, and lakes – or driving to the next adventure in the great outdoors. Trauma is the leading cause of death in the United States for those under the age of 46.
“Knowing how to stay safe, preparing in advance, and using the right safety gear is key to having a safe and healthy summer,” said Dr. Elbert Xu, Intermountain Health provider.
Here are important safety reminders to help everyone have a safe summer and help avoid a trip to the emergency room.
1. WEAR A SEAT BELT
According to NV Department of Transportation, 2015-2019 unrestrained occupant crashes make up 21% of NV’s total fatalities. Over half of them took place here in Clark County. Nationally in 2021, over 50% of passenger vehicle occupants killed were unrestrained.
“The act of buckling up is not just a personal decision, it can affect everyone in the vehicle and others around you,” said Dr. Xu. “It can save your life and the lives of those in your vehicle. The best thing you can do from becoming a fatality statistic is to buckle up. It only takes a few seconds.”
2. WEAR A HELMET ON A MOTORCYCLE, bike scooter or ATV – OR ANYTHING ELSE WITH WHEELS
Statistics shows motorcycle helmets significantly reduce the risk of head injury by 69 percent and reduce the risk of death by 42 percent.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that helmets saved the lives of 1,872 motorcycle riders in 2017 and that 749 more lives in all states could have been saved if all motorcycle riders had worn helmets.
3. WEAR A LIFE JACKET
After a record-breaking snow year, rivers in surrounding areas and states are running high, cold, and fast.
· Empty out kiddie pools or buckets of water at home after use
· Have children wear a life jacket whenever near water
· Never take your eyes off children in the water
· While supervising, stay alert and avoid distractions
· Teach children to swim, but remember, there is no substitute for supervision
· Keep a telephone nearby in case of an emergency
4. PUT ON SUN SCREEN WHEN YOU ARE OUTSIDE IN THE SUN. SPF 30 OR ABOVE.
Make sure to reapply every few hours as well.
5. KEEP HYDRATED
· Adults and kids should drink water before, during, and after moderate to strenuous activities. For adults that’s about 15.5 cups (3.7 liters) of fluids a day for men. About 11.5 cups (2.7 liters) of fluids a day for women.
· For young athletes, protective gear such as helmets or pads can trap heat and increase body temperature. Hydration breaks should be scheduled about every 15 minutes, and kids need to drink even if they say they are not thirsty. If you are thirsty, you are already dehydrated.
· Kids should drink plain water during short games or activities. For activities lasting more than an hour, sports drinks can be used to help boost intake and replenish electrolytes.
· Use extra caution when swimming, which can cause dehydration because heat and sweat go unnoticed.
- If you go on trips to endemic countries.
- For example, yellow fever is a common viral infection spread by mosquitoes in certain parts of South America and Africa. Make sure you receive the appropriate vaccine prior to your trip as recommended by the CDC.
7. CALL FOR HELP
If you are injured this summer, do not delay care. If you have a medical emergency, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency department.
Go to intermountainnv.org for more information.