Five Tips for a Happy, Healthy Spring

Spring is here, which means we’ll be mowing lawns, grilling out and enjoying more time outdoors in the beautiful weather. But the season also brings new risks for injury and illness — and emergency room visits.

Dr. Heather Beard, emergency department medical director at Texas Health Harris Methodist Outpatient Center Burleson, offered this advice for staying safe and avoiding ER trips:

  • Supervise kids jumping on the trampoline. Most trampoline injuries occur when multiple people are jumping, so keep a one-jumper-at-a-time rule. Common injuries include sprains, strains and bruises. The smallest and youngest children are usually at greater risk for significant injuries like fractures, specifically children 5 or younger, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. Keep trampolines off limits to young children.
  • Watch out for snakes. Most snakebites occur from April to October during the warmer months, and coincidentally, when more people are enjoying outdoor activities. Be sure to teach children not to approach or touch a snake, wear boots and pants when hiking or in tall grass, use extra caution around wood piles and rocks, and always assume a snakebite is venomous — be safe, not sorry! If you’re bitten, don’t delay treatment. Call 911 and get medical care as soon as possible.
  • Be careful on ladders. While washing those windows or cleaning the gutters, make sure someone is with you to hold the ladder at the bottom and to call for help in case of an emergency. Most injuries from ladders are cuts, bruises and fractured bones, however some are more severe. Don’t do any reaching while up on a ladder and make sure it’s the proper length. Stick to the four-to-one rule: for every four feet of ladder height the bottom of the ladder should be one foot away from the wall.
  • Be safe and alert when mowing the lawn. The dangers of a lawn mower are very real, but very preventable. Keep children a safe distance away from the area being mowed, and never allow them to be passengers on a riding lawn mower. Children should be at least 12 years old before operating a push lawn mower, and age 16 to operate a riding lawn mower. Always wear safety goggles, long pants, long sleeves, and sneakers (no flip flops or bare feet) when mowing the lawn to prevent injuries from flying projectiles.
  • Practice food safety during your picnics and cookouts. Wash your hands before handling food. Double up on cutting boards — consider using one cutting board only for raw meat and poultry and another one for things like raw fruits and vegetables. Make sure to put items in the refrigerator within two hours after serving. Use a food thermometer to make sure meat, poultry, and fish are cooked to a safe internal temperature.

We hope you won’t need our services, but we’re here for you and your family if you do. Have a safe and happy spring!

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