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Surgery and Trauma Summertime Safety Tips

The team at Northern Light Surgery and Trauma have developed a list of helpful tips to keep kids of all ages safe during these carefree but busy days of summer.
 
Bug bites and insect safety
With summer comes those pesky little flying, biting critters, the dreaded mosquito! Ways to minimize attracting them to snack on you include:
  • Avoid use of scented soaps, perfume, or hairspray.
  • Avoid areas where insects like to nest, such as stagnate pools of water or gardens where flowers are in bloom, and don’t wear bright colors or flowery patterns.
  • Make sure the screens in your home are tightly fitted and holes are patched or repaired.
  • Sunscreen/insect repellent combination products should not be used. Sunscreen should be reapplied every 2 hours, where insect repellent should not. If you are in an area with high mosquito population, consider using insect repellent containing DEET to aid in prevention of insect-related disease (Note: American Association of Pediatrics and the CDC DO NOT recommend using DEET on children under 2 months of age).
  • Children should wash the repellent off when they come inside from playing.
  • When outside in the evenings or other times when there are a lot of mosquito’s present, wear long sleeved shirts, pants, and socks to prevent bites, wear hats and pants tucked into socks to protect against ticks when walking in the woods, high grass, or bushes. Check hair and skin for ticks at the end of the day.

Lawn mower safety
  • Only use a mower with a control that stops the mower blade from moving if the handle is let go. Children younger than 16 years should not be allowed to use ride-on mowers. Children younger than 12 years should not use walk-behind mowers.
  • Make sure that sturdy shoes are worn while mowing.
  • Prevent injuries from flying objects, such as stones or toys, by picking up objects from the lawn before mowing begins. Anyone using a mower should always wear hearing and eye protection.
  • Do not pull the mower backward or mow in reverse unless absolutely necessary, and carefully look for children behind you when you mow in reverse.
  • Always turn off the mower and wait for the blades to stop completely before removing the grass catcher, unclogging the discharge chute, or crossing gravel paths, roads, or other areas.
  • Do not allow children to ride as passengers on ride-on mowers.
  • Keep children out of the yard while mowing.
  • Drive up and down slopes, not across to prevent mower rollover.
  • Keep guards, shields, switches, and safety devices in proper working order at all times.
  • If children must be in the vicinity of running lawnmowers, they should wear polycarbonate protective eye wear at all times. ​

Bicycle safety
A helmet protects you from serious injury and should always be worn at all times. Wearing a helmet also sets a good example for children who ride bikes.
 
Wear a helmet on every bike ride, no matter how short or how close to home. Many injuries happen in driveways, on sidewalks, and on bike paths, not just on streets. Children learn best by observing you. Set the example: Whenever you ride, put on your helmet.
  • When purchasing a helmet, look for a label or sticker that says the helmet meets the CPSC safety standard.
  • A helmet should be worn so that it is level on the head and covers the forehead, not tipped forward or backwards. The strap should be securely fastened with about 2 fingers able to fit between chin and strap. The helmet should be snug on the head, but not overly tight. Skin should move with the helmet when moved side to side. If needed, the helmet's sizing pads can help improve the fit.
  • Do not push your child to ride a 2-wheeled bike without training wheels until he or she is ready. Consider your child's coordination and desire to learn to ride. Stick with coaster (foot) brakes until your child is older and more experienced for hand brakes. Consider a balance bike with no pedals for young children to learn riding skills.
  • Take your child with you when you shop for the bike, so that he or she can try it out. The value of a properly fitted bike far outweighs the value of surprising your child with a new one. Buy a bike that is the right size, not one your child has to "grow into." Oversized bikes are especially dangerous. ​
  • Your child should ride on the right, facing the same direction as traffic, and should be taught to obey all stop signs and other traffic control devices. Children should never ride at night.

Follow these simple, common-sense tips from Northern Light Surgery and Trauma for a summer full of sun, fun, and memories. Stay safe!
 
The information contained here should not be used as a substitute for the medical care and advice of your physician. There may be variations in treatment that your provider may recommend based on individual facts and circumstances.