Inflatable bounce houses are becoming a staple at backyard birthday parties and other outdoor gatherings. But with children’s more frequent exposure to these popular party attractions comes a higher likelihood of injury, experts are finding.
A new study, which looked at numbers from 1990 to 2010, found that more than 11,300 children were treated for bounce house-related injuries in 2010, twice the number from 2008. The study found that most injuries occurred from falls and collisions with other jumpers; more than half of the injuries included fractures, sprains and strains.
While the study couldn’t pinpoint a reason for the increased number of bounce house-related injuries, the authors suggest their growing popularity, which Paul Kircher, ATC/L, an athletic trainer with Memorial SportsCare, said he agrees with. Read the rest of this entry »
Glowing sparklers, massive booms from afar, and collective “oohs” and “ahhs” are familiar sights and sounds to most Americans. Yes, the Fourth of July will soon be upon us. And once again, Memorial Medical Center is preparing for an influx of firework-induced, avoidable injuries and burns.
“We typically see a spike in burns and firework-related injuries during this time of year,” says Doug Gregory, RN, nurse manager of Memorial’s Regional Burn Center.
Sara Plunk, RN, nurse manager, MMC Emergency Department, says, “Our goal this year is to keep everyone harm-free and inform the public of safe ways to enjoy fireworks this season.”
Fireworks should be handled delicately and cautiously. They have the potential to cause serious harm, even death, if not handled properly. Read the rest of this entry »
Before you hit the road or fly the friendly skies this summer, remember that packing for a trip involves more than the right clothing and shoes. A comprehensive medical kit will help ensure your vacation doesn’t include a sight-seeing excursion to the nearest drugstore.
Dennis Danner, a registered nurse for 35 years who works at Memorial’s ExpressCare at North Dirksen, is a frequent traveler, including at least two overseas trips a year as part of his role as president and co-founded of ER Abroad, a locally based charity that helps needy orphanages and medical clinics in Guatemala and Kenya. He suggests the following supplies when assembling a traveling medical kit.
Travel Medical Kit Supplies:
Baby aspirin — If you are flying or taking a long car trip during which you’ll be seated for a long period of time, it’s a good idea to take a baby aspirin before each trip. This natural blood thinner could help prevent a pulmonary embolism (a blood clot that travels to the lungs and typically forms in the lower extremities). Before taking an aspirin, however, check with your physician to make sure there are no contraindications based on your personal medical history.
First Aid creams and bandages — This should include Band-Aids, 4×4-inch gauze pads, nonstick Telfa pads, a couple rolls of two- and four-inch gauze bandage, an Ace bandage, Neosporin and Bacitracin (triple-antibiotic cream).
A small jar or container of baking soda or meat tenderizer to mix with water to neutralize bee stings
Hydrogen peroxide or rubbing alcohol to disinfect scrapes or cuts
Pepto Bismal tablets
Non-latex unsterile gloves
Over-the-counter pain killers (for sunburns, use aspirin or Motrin to help reduce inflammation)
A small bottle of vinegar if you are traveling to a coastal area, to help reduce jellyfish stings
Danner also recommends vacationers check their health insurance policy to see what is covered where they are traveling. If coverage is poor, considering purchasing trip nsurance to cover unanticipated medical expenses, he said.
As a fair-skinned mom to three fair-skinned children, all of whom love to be outdoors, pediatrician and internal medicine physician Cara Vasconcelles, MD, is particularly attuned to proper sun protection.
“I usually start applying sunscreen whenever the kids can be outside – without a coat on – for longer than 10 to 15 minutes,” said Vasconcelles, who practices with Koke Mill Medical Associates, part of Memorial Physician Services. “If you can be outside for that long without a coat and are comfortable, that means it’s warm enough to get a sunburn.”
Research shows that with each significant sunburn a child experiences while younger than 18, their cancer risk increases greatly in adulthood.
“It’s important not to be afraid of the sun, but to use common sense and practical measures to keep kids and adults from getting a sunburn,” Vasconcelles said. She offers these tips for ensuring you and your children are protected from the sun’s harmful rays. Read the rest of this entry »
It’s the time of year almost everyone enjoys. Temperatures warm up, flowers bloom and you can once again spend time outdoors. But before you plan your next family adventure, brush up on these warm weather safety tips to ensure your family gets the most out of spring and summer fun.
WATCH OUT FOR OUTDOOR ELEMENTS
As temperatures rise, bugs come out. Your best protection is bug spray that’s at least 10- to 30-percent DEET. The higher the percentage, the longer the repellant lasts. This can be mixed with sunscreen and is safe on children as young as 2 months old.
Poison Ivy/Poison Oak
Rashes from poison ivy and oak are caused by a substance in the sap of the plants. Learn to recognize the plants so you can avoid them. If you come into contact, immediately wash with soap and water. Read the rest of this entry »
We’ve all been there. Despite feeling miserable, you drag yourself out of bed to see the doctor in hopes of getting medication you’re certain will make life better. But instead you’re left empty handed and wondering what happened.
When is the last time you had a booster to protect yourself and your loved ones against the whooping cough? If it’s been more than 10 years, it’s time to get another — especially if you care for young children.
Whooping cough, also known as pertussis, is a very contagious infection caused by the Bordetella pertussis bacteria and is most severe in children, said Ashish John, MD, a pediatrician with Koke Mill Medical Associates. The infection is characteristic of nonstop coughing fits during which the affected person has trouble catching a breath. When they do get the opportunity to inhale, they let out a distinct, deep “whoop” sound. Read the rest of this entry »
You’ll soon see more cars in Illinois displaying large yellow dot decals in their rear windows. And those dots will help save lives.
Illinois launched recently its voluntary Yellow Dot program. Participants receive a bright yellow decal for their cars and a corresponding yellow folder. They place the decal in the lower left-hand corner of the car’s rear window. They put their basic medical information and a close-up photo in the folder, which is kept in the glove compartment.
It’s the spookiest night of the year. But make sure your scares come only from kids in costume by following these safety tips from Matt Johnston, MD, Taylorville Memorial Hospital Emergency Department Medical Director.
1. Careful With the Costume
Whether it’s homemade or store bought, costumes should not be too tight or too loose. Avoid flowing costumes that kids can trip on or props that can get in the way. Be sure your child can see well out of his mask and is wearing proper shoes. It’s also a good idea to have the child wear a glowing necklace or reflective tape.