Observe Memorial Day Safely
New Lenox, IL (May 16, 2014)— The start of summer – Memorial Day Weekend – is upon us! After enduring such a harsh winter with record snowfalls and frigid temperatures, it is finally time to enjoy the warm weather as we honor the United States service men and women in the armed forces. But do so safely, since the highest amount of injuries occur in the five-day period surrounding Labor Day, followed by Memorial Day, the Fourth of July, and Halloween.
Silver Cross Hospital encourages families to follow these tips to celebrate safely.
With millions of people starting the summer season by taking a road trip, the AAA recommends these travel tips:
- Buckle up. “Buckle up and make sure that children are properly secured in child safety seats,” says Dr. Daniel Checco, Medical Director for the Silver Cross Free-Standing Emergency Care Center in Homer Glen. “These easy steps greatly increase your odds of surviving and reducing injuries if a crash occurs.”
- Don’t drink and drive. Never drive while impaired.
- Do a pre-road trip checkup. To avoid any possible breakdowns during your trip, ensure that your car’s tires are properly inflated, fluids are topped off, and everything under the hood looks all right.
- Never leave your child alone in the car. Cars can get up to baking hot temperatures in just a few minutes in warm weather. Children should never be left alone in a car, even for a few minutes.
- Get plenty of rest. “Drowsy drivers can be as dangerous as drunk drivers, so be sure to get a good night’s rest before you take a long road trip,” says Dr. Checco.
- Insect Bites. Insect repellents used on children should contain no more than 10 percent of a chemical called DEET. “Parents need to watch for allergic reactions or infections when using insect repellents on their children as well as themselves, and seek immediate medical attention if a bad reaction occurs,” says Dr. Checco.
- Sports Safety. Wear appropriate safety gear when engaging in sports. Helmets are important to avoid simple concussions which can have long-term sequels.
- Burns. Keep babies younger than six months old out of direct sunlight. For all other children, use a sunscreen made for kids, with a SPF of at least 15 although SPF 50 is preferred. Sunscreen must be reapplied every hour, even if it says it is waterproof. Make sure to wear hats and sunglasses. Screen grills so children can’t touch them.
- Fireworks. Attend firework displays rather than purchasing fireworks for home use. “It’s really a lot safer to go to a professional show at one of the many area park districts,” says Dr. Checco. “By letting trained experts light the fireworks, all you have to do is sit there and enjoy the show.”
- Lifeguards are a must. If you’re going to be around lakes or pools with your kids, make sure there is a lifeguard around.
- Drowning. Surround swimming pools with a fence at least five feet high. Do not let children play around any water—unless an adult is present.
- Rip Currents: No. 1 Beach Danger. Rip currents are responsible for eight out of 10 beach drownings and are common on many U.S. beaches — even in shallow water. Rip currents occur on a windy day as surf pushes water inside the sandbar, and once pressure builds up there is a collapse of the sandbar. Unfortunately the currents get incredibly strong and swimmers have a difficult time swimming out of the current. The best advice is to swim parallel to the shore and in a short while if you are not outside the current, try swimming parallel to the shore in the other direction and this should get you out of the current and safely back to shore.
- Tune-up your boat. Have a professional check your boat to ensure it’s working properly, and make sure your safety equipment is in good shape — that the life preservers are fully functional and you have enough of them.
- Use lifejackets when boating. The American Boating Association encourages you to make sure you have a life vest that is appropriate for your child’s age and adult’s age.
- Don’t Drink and Boat. Like driving a car, boating should not involve alcohol.
If you or your child needs medical attention this summer, Dr. Daniel Checco and the rest of Silver Cross Hospital’s board certified emergency medicine physicians and nurses are ready to assist you and your family at The Silver Cross Free-Standing Emergency Care Center located at 143rd St. and Bell Rd in Homer Glen. The Center is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. For more information, call (708) 364-6004.
Located in the same building is the Silver Cross Health Center offering MRI, CT, X-ray, Ultrasound, EKG and laboratory services. A physician’s order is required. To schedule an appointment for a test, call (815) 300-7076. There are also several primary and specialty physician offices and the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago at Silver Cross. For a referral to a physician at the Homer Glen medical center, call 1-888-660-HEAL or visit http://www.silvercross.org.
About Silver Cross Hospital
Silver Cross Hospital is a not-for-profit health care provider serving Will County and southwest suburban communities since 1895. Silver Cross has been recognized as a Thomson Reuters 100 Top Hospitals National Award winner for seven consecutive years and as a Hospital of Choice by the American Alliance of Healthcare Providers. With over 3,000 employees, physicians and volunteers, Silver Cross operates a 289-bed acute care hospital and 5 satellite facilities providing outpatient services and physician offices. Silver Cross opened a state-of-the-art replacement hospital on February 26, 2012 at I-355 and Route 6 in New Lenox. In 2013, Silver Cross provided over $48 million in charity care and other community benefits. To learn more about Silver Cross Hospital or a referral to a physician on staff, visit http://www.silvercross.org/ or call 1-888-660-HEAL (4325). Physicians on Silver Cross Hospital’s Medical Staff have expertise in their areas of practice to meet the needs of patients seeking their care. These physicians are independent practitioners on the Medical Staff and are not the agents or employees of Silver Cross Hospital. They treat patients based upon their independent medical judgment and they bill patients separately for their services.