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SAVING LIVES WITH GUS: Fireworks Safety
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With the 4th of July holiday week at hand, experts at Mayo Clinic are offering up some injury prevention tips on some of the most common reasons that send people to the emergency department this time of year.
- Consume alcohol in moderation. Imbibing too much alcohol can lead to questionable decision-making, slowed reflexes and false confidence – traits that are dangerous in nearly any outdoor activity during the summer months.
- Never assume a camp or bonfire is completely out. On more than one occasion, fire-happy campers have been known to dump gasoline or other extremely flammable liquids on fires that look like they are out or smoldering and ended up with third-degree burns. Children and adults make trips to the emergency room every summer after stepping into fire pits they thought were cool.
- Always wear a helmet when biking, motorcycling, horseback riding or on an ATV. This is like wearing a seat belt in a car – an absolute must. Riders of all kinds can sustain serious injuries in an accident, but survival chances grow exponentially when a helmet is worn.
- Use extra-sharp eyes when operating a motor vehicle on the water. Watch out for other boaters, water-skiers and swimmers. Every year, patients are brought to the Emergency Department after getting tangled up in a boat propeller. And always wear a life jacket.
- Avoid fireworks. Even sparklers – thought to be relatively safe – can lead to blindness and serious burns. Other larger fireworks can leave users without fingers and even limbs. Hearing loss is common among fireworks users as well. Children must be closely supervised at all times around any kind of fireworks.
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Journalists: Sound bites with Dr. Jenkins are available in the downloads
Mayo Clinic trauma specialist Dr. Donald Jenkins says, as you might expect, staying safe comes down to planning ahead and using common sense.