Spare yourself the trauma with Brenna Benjamin.

Brenna Benjamin handles Trauma Program Injury Prevention and Outreach for Emergency Services at NorthBay Healthcare. Her blog focuses on preventive safety measures and true trauma encounters.

You can e-mail her at:

Brenna started writing for this blog September of 2017.

Safety Steps Assure Sun Time Equals Fun Time!

May 03, 2018

With summer fast approaching, many flock to the outdoors to have some fun. While fun in the sun is great, it is important to be responsible and wise as injuries are not always an accident. Sometimes, injuries to ourselves and others are caused by our lack of planning or our irresponsibility.

Many injuries involving boats, jet skis, ATVs and golf carts can be prevented with prior planning, close watching and responsible choices. With boats and jet skis, life jackets are not just for kids. Plan ahead so that all passengers of any water craft have and wear a fitted U.S. Coast Guard approved flotation device while aboard. Also, know your swimming abilities and limitations as well as those of your passengers. Many rivers, lakes and, of course, the ocean have strong currents, waves and undertows that may look manageable from the surface but once you are in the water, become unmanageable due to forces of nature.

With ALL recreational vehicles, stay alert! Know your surroundings at all times. Drinking and driving any personal recreational vehicle, is the same as drinking and driving a motor vehicle. You pose a threat of injury to yourself, your passengers and surrounding pedestrians, not to mention it's illegal. Of course if you are of age, you can relax and enjoy time together social drinking with family and friends however, be smart about it so everyone gets home safely! Have a designated driver planned for your outing. Plan ahead with family and friends, and then stick to the plan about who will be the designated driver for the day. Or, if you all want to drink, then stay off the motorized vehicles. There are responsible ways to drink and enjoy your time while keeping everyone safe in the process.

Speed is also a culprit for many injuries with personal recreational vehicles. If there are speed limits, they are there for your safety and the safety of those around. Following them prevents unnecessary injury. If there aren't speed limits, remember that while going fast is "fun," the higher the speed, the less control of the vehicle you have. Know your limits of control and the limits of your vehicle. Terrain has a lot to do with this as well. If you are off road, on uneven or slippery (muddy, rocky, icy, etc.) surfaces, slow down.

Although, abiding by these cautions may not seem "as fun" at the time, a head bleed, broken bones, paralysis or death because of reckless behavior, would bring that "fun" to a screeching halt and may bring many complications and restrictions for your next outing. The next time you go out and want to be a little "risky," imagine yourself in a hospital bed with your loved ones crying all around you all because you wanted to have a little "fun." All of these safety tips seem obvious however, you would be surprised at how many injuries there are every year from people not following these basic precautions.

So BE SAFE, BE SMART and have FUN this summer!

Tags: trauma, Benjamin, Brenna



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