Labor Day weekend. We say goodbye to summer and hello to fall. Enjoy the company of friends and family. And, if the weather cooperates, spend time outdoors. All good fun, right?
Labor Day weekend can also be a dangerous weekend. Providence wants to keep you and your family safe and injury free this holiday weekend. Here are some tips:
Traveling by Car
Nationwide, more than 42,000 people are killed in motor vehicle accidents during Labor Day weekend. Drive sober, eliminate distractions, buckle up and use proper car and booster seats for your kids. Never leave a child alone in the car and keep your car locked when you’re not using it. On average, a child dies from heatstroke in a vehicle every 10 days.
Use Street Smarts
The pedestrian death rate among teens is twice that of younger kids and accounts for half of all child pedestrian deaths. Make sure your kids know it’s best to walk on sidewalks or paths and cross at street corners, crosswalks or intersections. Have them put away electronic devices and look left, right and left again when crossing the street. They should also make eye contact with drivers as you cross. These rules also apply if they’re on a bike, scooter or skateboard.
Use Your Head
Wear a helmet if you’re riding a bike, scooter, skateboard or skates. Helmets can reduce the risk of severe brain injuries by 88% – yet only 45% of children 14 and younger usually wear one.
Be Cautious Around the Water
Heading to the ocean or a lake to enjoy the last days of summer? Your kids should always be supervised in or near water and wear a properly fitted life jacket. Know your limits, even the most experienced swimmers can drown. Swim in designated swim areas – avoid rivers, which can be dangerous and unpredictable. Boaters should forgo alcohol, pay attention to weather conditions and have a life jacket onboard for every passenger.
Take Care on the Trail
Hiking is a fun, healthy and affordable activity for the entire family. Inexperienced hikers, especially teens, are at the greatest risk for injury, even death. Be prepared. Know the weather conditions. Dress properly. Know what to do in an emergency. Check in at your local ranger station. Let someone know where you’re going and when you plan to return.
Be Safe at Home, Too
Finishing up home-improvement projects this weekend? Traditionally, Labor Day weekend brings a spike in fall-related emergency department visits. Supervise children around open windows. Window screens break away with less than 5 pounds of pressure and are designed to keep bugs out, not kids in. Thinking of cleaning the gutters or painting the house? Position your ladder on a stable, even, flat surface. Use the 1:4 ratio: place the ladder 1 foot away of whatever it leans against for every 4 feet of height.
Providence Has You Covered
Whatever your plans, we hope you have a safe and enjoyable holiday weekend. If you find yourself in need of medical help, the Providence Express Care and Urgent Care clinics are ready to help. And, the Emergency Departments at Providence hospitals are open 24 hours a day. We hope you won’t need us. But, we’re here for you if you do.