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Doctors Bracing for ER Visits This Memorial Day Weekend

Memorial Day is often the first time many families head out for their first big event of summer.

In the chaos and fun, sometimes basic safety rules are forgotten about.

Dr. Kevin Dahlman of Aurora Health Care was a live guest on the CBS 58 News at 4:30 p.m. to offer a gentle reminder but also confront some startling facts about kids and injury.

Swimming is among the most potentially deadly of incidents. It's not just about swimming with a life guard on duty or an adult who knows how to swim keeping watch. 

Be aware of small bodies of water your child might encounter, such as bathtubs, fishponds, ditches, fountains, rain barrels, watering cans—?even the bucket you use when you wash the car. Empty containers of water when you're done using them. Children are drawn to places and things like these and need constant supervision to be sure they don't fall in.

Children who are swimming—even in a shallow toddler's pool—always should be watched by an adult, preferably one who knows CPR. The adult should be within arm's length, providing "touch supervision" whenever infants, toddlers, or young children are in or around water. Empty and put away inflatable pools after each play session.

Don't allow your child to use inflatable toys in place of a life jacket. These toys may deflate suddenly, or your child may slip off them into water that is too deep for him.

Backyard swimming pools, (including large, inflatable above-ground pools), should be completely surrounded with at least a 4-foot high fence that completely separates the pool from the house. The fence should have a self-closing and self-latching gate that opens away from the pool, with the latch at least 54 inches high. Check the gate frequently to be sure it is in good working order. Keep the gate closed and locked at all times. Be sure your child cannot manipulate the lock or climb the fence. No opening under the fence or between uprights should be more than 4 inches wide. Keep toys out of the pool area when not in use so that children are not tempted to try to get through the fence.

While everyone is grilling this weekend, burns should also be a concern for parents. About half of all accidental burns that occur each year happen to kids under age 4. That's why you shouldn't leave a small child unattended around hot appliances, such as a grill or a stove, and why you should keep kids at a distance while you're cooking. Also keep sparklers away from children.

It’s a tradition to have fireworks for Memorial Day and Independence Day, but fireworks are dangerous and children should never handle them, even sparklers.

If not handled properly, fireworks can cause burn and eye injuries in kids and adults. The best way to protect your family is not to use any fireworks at home — period. Attend public fireworks displays, and leave the lighting to the professionals.

If fireworks are legal where you live, keep these safety tips in mind:

Kids should never play with fireworks. Things like firecrackers, rockets and sparklers are just too dangerous. If you give kids sparklers, make sure they keep them outside and away from their face, clothing and hair. Sparklers can reach 1,800 degrees – hot enough to melt gold!

Always use fireworks outside and have a bucket of water and a hose nearby in case of accidents.

Steer clear of others — fireworks have been known to backfire or shoot off in the wrong direction. Never throw or point fireworks at someone, even in jest.

Don't hold fireworks in your hand or have any part of your body over them while lighting. Wear some sort of eye protection, and avoid carrying fireworks in your pocket — the friction could set them off.

Exposure to sun may also be an obvious reminder but it' s worth repeating that doctors say you should  avoid being in the sun between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m., and stay in a shaded area as much as possible when outside.

Dress baby in a hat, sunglasses, and clothing made with a tight weave. For babies 6 months and older, use sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15 (SPF 30 and higher is even better) that offers both UVA and UVB protection.

For babies younger than 6 months, if adequate shade isn't available, put sunscreen in small amounts on exposed surfaces of skin. Always apply sunscreen at least 30 minutes before going outside -- even on cloudy days -- and reapply it every two hours. Even waterproof sunscreen loses its effectiveness after about 80 minutes of swimming.

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