When Temperatures Heat Up, Stay Cool and Stay Safe
When the weather heats up, both adults and children head outside. Long lazy days in the water or short summer bike trips can be fun and great ways to stay cool, but slip and falls or bike accidents can put a chill on all the summer fun. If you find that you or a family member needs medical assistance, be sure you know where to go.
The Children’s Nationwide Center for Injury Prevention (CIRP) safety information video reports that during the summer in the U.S., a child drowns every 5 days in a portable pool and more than 1,000 children die in drowning accidents every year. Other injuries can include fractures that occur from boating accidents and falls on slippery surfaces surrounding pools. Use these safety tips to keep water accidents at bay:
- Always supervise children in the water as drowning can occur anywhere, even in only a few inches of water
- Empty wading pools and coolers immediately after use.
- Use self-closing and self-latching gates that open away from the pool
- When on a boat, children must always wear a life jacket. Air-filled swimming aids like water wings or inner tubes are not a substitute for a life jacket.
- Avoid alcohol when swimming or supervising children.
Many people leave the water and hit the bike trail to dry off; but safety should remain top of mind. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report that head injuries account for 62% of bicycle-related deaths. About 33% of all bicycle-related emergency department visits and 67% of all bicycle-related hospital admissions involve head injuries. Younger riders use bicycle helmets just 15-25% of the time, even though they are required by law to wear helmets until age 12.
Many bike accidents go unreported as they are judged not serious enough for medical attention. Generally, if a condition is threatening to life, limb or eyesight, or causes the beneficiary to require relief from pain, it is considered an emergency and calls for a trip to the emergency room.
TRICARE defines an emergency department as an organized, hospital-based facility available 24 hours a day providing emergency services to patients who need immediate medical attention. Emergency departments affiliated with a hospital are most likely TRICARE-authorized providers. Beneficiaries and their families will get the appropriate level of care and save money by having urgent care needs met in urgent care facilities. Learn more about emergency care under TRICARE at www.tricare.mil/emergency.