Back to School Safety Tips

The school year has begun and  road travel increases. This can be a dangerous time of year, especially for children.

Many children rely on walking, riding a bicycle, or taking a bus to and from school. Fewer daylight hours can make it harder for motorists to see these young students. Take advantage of the following tips to strengthen your traffic safety knowledge:

Car:

  • All passengers should wear a seat belt.
  • All children should ride in an age- and size-appropriate car safety seat or booster seat. until the vehicle’s seat belt fits properly (usually when the child reaches about 4′ 9” and          is between eight to 12 years of age).

School Bus:

  • Children should always board and exit the bus at locations that provide safe access to the curb or to the school building.
  • Remind your child to wait for the bus to stop before approaching it from the curb.
  • Make sure your child walks where they can see the bus driver (which means the driver will be able to see them too).
  • Remind your child to look both ways to see that no other traffic is coming before crossing the street.

 

Walking:

  • Make sure your child’s walk to school follows a safe route with trained crossing guards at every intersection.
  • If your children are young or are walking to a new school, walk with them the first week or until you are sure they know the route and can do it safely.
  • Bright-colored clothing will make your child more visible to drivers.

Bike:

  • Always wear a bicycle helmet, no matter how short or long the ride.
  • Ride on the right, in the same direction as auto traffic.
  • Respect traffic lights and stop signs.

Following these simple rules can help to prevent accidents and will keep you and children safe.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Bruises – Why We Get Them

A bruise is a common injury that causes the skin to become discolored. When there is bleeding beneath the surface of the skin it becomes evident as a black and blue mark. Eventually, if the person is healthy, the skin will reabsorb the blood and the black and blue mark will fade. A bruise may hurt at first but the pain subsides usually before the discoloration goes away.

 

 

Bruising occurs more frequently in:

  • Older people because their skin isn’t as thick as it once was.
  • Women because they typically have thinner skin.
  • People who exercise vigorously.
  • People who take anti-coagulating medications such as aspirin.
  • People who use topical or oral cortical steroids bruise more easily because it can make the skin thinner
  • People who use the dietary supplement ginkgo can also cause the skin to bruise more easily because it acts as a blood thinner

People who bruise easily should be checked to see if they have serious medical conditions. This would include having blood clotting issues due to taking certain medications or not having the correct amount of blood clotting proteins in the body. Bruising can also be a sign of physical abuse and this must be followed up with a physician or with the police if it is noticed and there is no explanation as to why it occurred.

Treating a bruise includes using a cold compress, elevating an extremity if it is on an arm or leg, taking acetaminophen for discomfort, and after the initial 48 hours, using a warm compress to help the flow of blood in the area.

While most bruises will resolve on their own, it is important to get medical attention if the bruise has a lot of swelling and pain or if it doesn’t start to resolve in two weeks and is still present after a month. Any bruising of the head or the eye should be followed up with a physician.

You can schedule an appointment with a physician at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center by calling 718-206-7001.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Safety Tips for Driving at Night

The National Safety Council estimates that even though we do only a quarter of our driving at night, approximately 50% of all traffic accidents occur after dark. This leaves many wondering why so many accidents take place at night.

One of the main reasons is that at night, our depth perception is reduced, as is peripheral vision and the ability to see colors. We are also more likely to be more tired at night which can affect our reflexes. People who don’t get enough sleep or who have been working long hours are more prone to having an accident.

Another factor that can affect our ability to drive and see well at night is age. According to the National Safety Council, a person who is older than fifty years of age may need twice as much light to see well as a person who is only 30. Older drivers may also have compromised vision as a result of degenerative eye diseases or cataracts.

There are a few precautions drivers can take to prevent accidents while driving at night. Jamaica Hospital’s Trauma service and the National Safety Council recommends the following:

  • Keeping the windshield clean
  • Making sure headlights are aimed properly
  • Reducing  your speed
  • Turning your headlights on as soon as it starts to get dark so others can see you
  • Increasing  the distance between your car and the car ahead
  • Pulling over if you feel too tired to drive
  • Getting at least seven hours of sleep

Older drivers are encouraged to get annual eye exams to make sure that their eyes are healthy. These annual exams can also see if there are cataracts forming which can impair vision, and can check to see if eyeglass prescriptions are needed.

If you would like to schedule an appointment with an eye doctor at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center, please call 718-206-5900.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Jamaica Hospital’s Trauma Team Offers Driving Safety Tips to Seniors

Everyone remembers the day they passed their road test and received their driver’s license. Getting a license opens up a world of options for drivers and provides them with a sense of independence that they didn’t have before.

If you received your license a long time ago, and are now a senior citizen driver, you may begin to notice certain limitations that could potentially impact your ability to operate a vehicle. While for some, driving at an advanced age may no longer be advised, most seniors can still enjoy the benefits of driving by taking a few extra precautions.

Jamaica Hospital’s Trauma Division is offering the following tips to senior drivers to help them avoid injury to themselves, other drivers or pedestrians while on the road.

  • Have Your Vision and Hearing Checked Regularly – Be aware of any ocular conditions, such as cataracts, glaucoma, or macular degeneration that might affect your vision. If you wear glasses or contacts, make sure you wear them while driving. Similarly, if you require a hearing aid, make sure you don’t drive without one as it is an important device to help you hear car horns and emergency sirens.
  • Be Aware of Other Health Factors – Pain or stiffness in the joints can limit mobility and your ability to check mirrors or turn your head. Chronic fatigue can be a problem, especially during long drives, and certain chronic conditions such as diabetes or seizure disorders can affect your safety. Side effects from medications can also impact driving and should be discussed with your doctor or pharmacist before driving.
  • Know Your Limitations – As you age, it’s important to acknowledge that certain motor functions might not be as sharp as they once were and should be taken into consideration while on the road. It is advised that seniors should increase their following distance, use their brakes earlier, try to anticipate situations before they occur, and try to avoid highly trafficked areas when possible.
  • Avoid Dangerous Driving Conditions – Controlling your car in inclement weather, such as rain or snow is more difficult and therefore should be avoided. Driving at night can also pose increased risks because reaction times are often affected during this time of day.  Lastly, driving during rush hour presents additional opportunities for accidents to occur because other drivers tend to be more aggressive and inpatient. Under these conditions.

Getting older doesn’t mean that you can no longer drive. By following these tips, you can continue to drive without feeling as if you are a danger to yourself or others.

If however, you feel concerned about your ability to drive, it doesn’t mean you have to give up your independence. There are many car fare services and public transportation options that can still get you where you want to go.

 

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

September is National Traumatic Brain Injury Month

September is recognized as National Traumatic Brain Injury Awareness Month. The main purpose of this observance is to raise awareness about traumatic brain injuries and how to recognize, prevent, and treat it one if it occurs.

The most common type of head injury is called a concussion, which is known as a mild traumatic brain injury. These can happen to anyone, at any age that has experienced a blow to the head. Signs and symptoms of a concussion can include:

  • Headache
  • Blurry vision
  • Nausea
  • Feeling tired
  • Anxiety
  • Sadness
  • Difficulty thinking clearly
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Loss of consciousness

In most cases, people will recover from a concussion in a week to ten days, with adults usually recovering faster than children. While many times traumatic brain injuries can’t be prevented because they are due to an accident, there are a few things a person can do to protect themselves:

  • Anyone who participates in a sport that has physical contact should wear proper head gear
  • When riding in a car everyone should wear a seat belt
  • Helmets should always be worn when riding a bicycle
  • People who are prone to falling should walk with the assistance of a cane, a walker or have someone with them for assistance.

If you or someone you know experiences a head trauma, it is advised that they to be seen immediately by a physician or be taken to the nearest emergency room.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Jamaica Hospital Offers Information to Parents About Sports-Related Concussions

This fall, millions of children and teens across America will be returning to school and many of them will be trying out and playing for their school’s various sports teams.

While the health benefits, exercise and comradery associated with youth sports is undeniable, parents must also educate themselves and their children about the potential dangers of sports-related concussions.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) a concussion is “a type of traumatic brain injury—or TBI—caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head or by a hit to the body that causes the head and brain to move quickly back and forth. This fast movement can cause the brain to bounce around or twist in the skull, creating chemical changes in the brain and sometimes stretching and damaging the brain cells.”

Largely associated with football, concussions are actually prevalent in many major sports including soccer, gymnastics, hockey and lacrosse and they can occur while participating in any physical activity.

To minimize the chances of sustaining a concussion, it is important for coaches and parents to create a culture of safety in youth athletics. This includes teaching proper safety techniques on the field of play and making sure that children follow those rules.  Another key to reduce the chances of a child or teen suffering complications from a concussion is to educate them on their signs and symptoms. If children are aware of not only the symptoms, but the dangers of not reporting a concussion, they are more likely to inform a coach or parent when they experience one.

Symptoms of a concussion can include:

  • Loss of consciousness
  • Headache or “pressure” in head
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Balance problems or dizziness, or double or blurry vision.
  • Sensitivity to light or noise
  • Feeling sluggish, hazy, foggy, or groggy
  • Confusion, or concentration or memory problems
  • Just not “feeling right,” or “feeling down.”

It is important to understand that not all concussions are created equal. Those who suffer one many experience some, but not all symptoms and the severity of those symptoms may vary from person to person.

If you believe that your child has suffered a concussion, you should remove them from play immediately and have them seen by their healthcare provider who can assess the severity of his or her injury via an examination and conduct additional tests if necessary. Typically, treatment for a concussion involves rest and restricting the patient from activity.

If your child does not have a healthcare provider, or they are unavailable when they sustain a concussion, you should take your child to a nearby hospital emergency department, such as the one at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Safety Tips on How to Avoid Being a Distracted Pedestrian

There has been a great deal of attention paid to the dangers associated with distracted driving.  We have seen the public service announcements warning drivers not to text or talk on their phones while behind the wheel, but what about the dangers of being a distracted pedestrian?

There has been a recent and dramatic increase in the number of pedestrians struck by automobiles and killed in recent years. While some of this can be attributed to distracted drivers, those not paying attention to their surroundings while crossing the street has also been reported to play a role in many incidents. One study conducted by researchers at Ohio State University concluded that the number of pedestrians (or “petextrians” as they are commonly referred to) injured while on their cellphones has doubled over the last decade.

Studies suggest that distracted walkers take longer to cross the street and are more likely to ignore traffic lights or neglect to look both ways while crossing. These problems are particularly prevalent among teens, but it’s important to note that all age groups are vulnerable to these dangers.

Safety experts agree that the most important advice for pedestrians is to never use a cell phone or other electronic device while walking. Here are some other tips to stay safe and avoid injury while crossing the streets:

  • Look left, right and left again before crossing the street; looking left a second time is necessary because a car can cover a lot of distance in a short amount of time
  • Make eye contact with drivers of oncoming vehicles to make sure they see you
  • Be aware of drivers even when you’re in a crosswalk; vehicles have blind spots
  • Don’t wear headphones while walking
  • If your view is blocked, move to a place where you can see oncoming traffic
  • Never rely on a car to stop
  • Only cross at designated crosswalks
  • Wear bright and/or reflective clothing
  • Walk in groups

Walking is one of the best things we can do to stay healthy, but only if we put safety first. Jamaica Hospital’s Trauma Division wants to warn our community that the risk for injury and death escalates when a pedestrian is not focused on his or her environment and our staff wants to spread the word on how pedestrians can avoid senseless injuries and death.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Pool Safety

The weather is warming up and people will be looking for ways to keep cool. One way that has always been popular during the warm summer months is swimming in a pool. Every year there are countless accidents and also fatalities at or near swimming pools. Many of which  could have been avoided had precautions been taken.
Safety Tips to follow:
• Never leave children unattended near a pool
• Only swim when there is a lifeguard present
• Every pool should have proper drain covers
• Pools should have alarms and proper fencing
• Keep the pool clean
• There should be no diving allowed in pools that are shallow
• Never swim alone
• There should be no horseplay in or near a pool
• Do not swim under the influence of alcohol or drugs
• Do not swim in a thunderstorm
• It is a good idea to give children swimming lessons before the start of the summer
• Children who don’t know how to swim should be given flotation devices to wear
There are many organizations around the country that offer swimming lessons for children and adults of all ages. If you don’t know how to swim, look into getting some lessons before heading out to the pool. You will have a good time and you will also be a lot safer this summer.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Burns

Burns are one of the most common injuries to occur in the home.  An estimated 250,000 children under the age of 17 are treated annually in hospitals and ERs for burn injuries.

There are three primary types of burns:

  • First-degree burns- damage is done only to the outer layer of the skin. These burns  can result in minor swelling, blisters or redness
  • Second-degree burns- damage is done to the outer layer and the layer underneath the skin. Skin may develop blisters or begin to thicken
  • Third-degree burns- damage is done to deeper tissue. Skin might appear charred, white or leathery in appearance

When treating minor burns that do not require emergency care such as first-degree burns, doctors recommend:

  • Holding the burned area under cool (not cold) running water or applying a cool compress. Do not apply ice as this can cause further damage
  • Taking over-the-counter-pain relievers
  • Applying an anesthetic lotion that contains aloe vera  to the affected area
  • Applying an antibiotic ointment
  • Bandaging the burn , with a sterile, non- adhesive, gauze bandage (not cotton balls as small fibers can adhere to the burn)

You should seek medical attention if:

  • There are signs of an infection
  • The burn blister is larger than three inches in diameter
  • Pain endures for several hours
  • The burn appears deep
  • The burn affects a widespread area such as the face, feet, hands, groin or buttocks

Burns in the home can be prevented when proper safety measures are practiced.  The National Fire Protection Association offers helpful tips to help keep you and your family safe. Please visit their website https://www.nfpa.org for more information.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Seatbelts Save Lives

One of the best ways to prevent an injury while riding in an automobile is to use a seatbelt. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), using a seat belt properly can reduce the risk of crash injuries by 50 percent. Seatbelts are estimated to save almost 13,000 lives in the United States each year.  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention more than half of the people killed in car crashes were not restrained at the time of the crash.

When a motor vehicle comes to a sudden stop, the occupants of that vehicle come to a stop as well, but not always simultaneously.  When the occupants are not wearing their seatbelts and the vehicle comes to a sudden stop, they can be thrown forward. This often results in either people hitting the windshield of the vehicle or being thrown from the car if the impact is forceful enough.

How does a seatbelt work? A seatbelt when worn properly will disperse the motor vehicle’s stopping force across a person’s chest and pelvis. Seatbelts are usually made from material that has a little elasticity, so the stopping action isn’t as severe. The main objective of the seat belt is to prevent a person from making sharp impact with the windshield, the dashboard, or other rigid areas in the vehicle. By dispersing the force across the body, this will help to reduce the amount of trauma that is inflicted.

Seatbelts are only helpful when they are worn. Even though it is mandatory to wear a seatbelt in most states, there are still people who don’t always wear one. Anyone who has ever been involved in a motor vehicle accident and who was wearing a seat belt at the time will tell you that it probably saved their life. Seat belts that went across the lap started appearing in cars in the early 1960’s and were supplemented by shoulder harnesses in the late 1960’s. At first people found them to be very uncomfortable to wear but as time passed, car manufacturers were able to design the modern three point belt that is easier to use and more comfortable to wear.

Everyone should buckle up, seatbelts save lives.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.