Unlike Memorial Day Weekends past, this year we’ll see less traffic on the roads and less people out and about as we continue to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic. However, experts at SolutionHealth are warning that we may still see the uptick in injuries that typically occurs during this time of year.
Jess Wyman, MSN/MHA, RN, TCRN, NRP, Trauma Program Manager at Southern New Hampshire Health System (a member of SolutionHealth) says the uptick is because, “people are looking forward to getting out of the house after a long winter and are re-engaging with outdoor activities.”
During this time of year, SNHH’s trauma team typically sees an increase in motorcycle and car vs. pedestrian accidents. Motorcycles are often sighted in spring and summer, but Wyman warns that drivers may not be looking for them quite yet, increasing the risk of an accident.
SNHH also sees an increase in firework injuries as people hold celebrations in their backyard or firework “shows.” To reduce your risk of getting hurt, she says follow the law and do not use them around small children.
They also see an increase in the number of children falling out of windows. “We see small children falling from 2nd and 3rd story windows when they accidentally push through the screens. We have already had our first case this spring. Kids are quick, and this happens in the blink of an eye,” Wyman explains.
If you have a window that can open from the top down, she recommends that you open the window that way. If your windows don’t do that, put in a window guard. Parents should also keep windows locked when they’re closed and keep furniture away from them.
To help reduce the risk of injuries, Wyman says people should use safety gear. For someone riding a motorcycle that means wearing a helmet, long pants, and a jacket. When riding a bicycle or playing a contact sports, you should wear a helmet. As for fireworks, Wyman reiterates, follow the law and do not use them around small children.
“These are unprecedented times that have brought challenges to how we may otherwise spend our Memorial Day holiday weekend. Celebrations may still happen, but make sure you follow New Hampshire’s guidelines for safe social distancing while still enjoying the company of family and friends,” Wyman says.