Home UVA Health Trauma Center manager offers safety tips for avoiding summer injuries

UVA Health Trauma Center manager offers safety tips for avoiding summer injuries

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Summer time means more time outdoors and, unfortunately, more chances for injuries.

In a press call Wednesday morning, Valerie Quick, trauma program manager at UVA Health Trauma Center, shared tips for staying safe in summer weather and while playing outdoors.

“You need to keep hydrated,” Quick said.

Humans lose 1/4 of water per day by sweating, urinating and other activities. Frequent water breaks are necessary while outside.

Quick also encourages eating.

“Stay hydrated so your body doesn’t have to work harder,” she said.

Hydration and food are especially important for individuals with pre-existing conditions.

She also advises limiting alcohol when outdoors in hot temperatures. Alcohol affects the blood’s ability to clot in the event of an injury.

First Aid kits should be in homes and vehicles at all times, as well as recreational areas, and stocked with tweezers, band-aids, gauze and bug repellant.

“Stop the Bleed” is a course available that “helps you recognize life-threatening bleeding and stop the bleeding.”

According to Quick, the most common injuries this time of year as we transition from spring to fall are common bumps, scrapes and bruises typically sustained by children playing. They are the types of injuries which can usually be treated with a First Aid kit.

Quick dispelled an old wives’ tale that swimming after eating is dangerous.

“No, not technically,” she said.

However, she did warn about cramping after eating and about eating too much which can cause nausea and vomiting.

“It’s actually a good thing to keep both eating and drinking,” Quick said.

Bug sprays and repellants do not have to be expensive or fancy to do the job of keeping bugs away. She advises frequent application, and to avoid applying nearing eyes and to wash hands after applying.

A few symptoms require immediate care at a trauma center, Quick said, including dislocated joints, broken bones, head injuries and bleeding that will not stop or large amounts of blood from a wound. Large, open wounds require cleaning and suturing. Severe burns, especially over large areas of the body, require trauma care, as well as breathing issues, chest pain or change in an individual’s mental status.

“It is better to be safe than sorry,” Quick said.

A former pediatric nurse, Quick said that staying calm and being honest is the best way to soothe children during treatment until medical help arrives. She said that children will remain calm if adults remain calm, and that children will pick up on if something is wrong. Distracting an injured child by being funny or telling a story is all right to help soothe them.

Summer means outdoor cooking and grilling season, which can sometimes result in unnecessary burns. Quick also cautions about fireworks and said to leave them to the professionals.

UVA Health Trauma Center is the only medical facility designated for trauma care in a 50-mile radius.

“We’re designed and specially trained” for trauma injuries, she said.

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca J. Barnabi is the national editor of Augusta Free Press. A graduate of the University of Mary Washington, she began her journalism career at The Fredericksburg Free-Lance Star. In 2013, she was awarded first place for feature writing in the Maryland, Delaware, District of Columbia Awards Program, and was honored by the Virginia School Boards Association’s 2019 Media Honor Roll Program for her coverage of Waynesboro Schools. Her background in newspapers includes writing about features, local government, education and the arts.