Decent weather, finally! Well we’ve all been hearing and repeating that phrase of late haven’t we? It’s usually followed by an “it’s about time” as we shed the heavy clothes and put on the sneakers and shorts and head out to get active and make up for lost time. It’s the start of May and that seems to be the unofficial start of the outdoor activity season.
Officially, May is also known as National Trauma Awareness Month. This fact comes to us from Trauma nurse Heidi O’Malley, our contact at Munson Grayling Hospital. This heads up from Heidi, along with the Society of Trauma Nurses input, is meant to remind us of the potential dangers we face in the upcoming season.
When you think of it, May, in our area is usually the time when many of us get our ATV’s, dirt bikes, campers, jet skis, boats, etc. ready for another season of fun and frolic in the great outdoors. This quite obviously puts us at greater risk of traumatic injuries due to accidents involving the aforementioned items. So let’s get started on some tips to make this summer carefree and fun while using our toys.
Probably one of the first things that should be on your list before taking any recreation equipment out is the general overall condition. A lot of us have the habit of just putting things up at the end of one season with the intent of fix ups and maintenance to be done later. Of course when the good weather arrives, we don’t want to waste time repairing what we should. The danger being that worn out or broken parts can lead to malfunctions and accidents that harm us or others.
Be sure you are familiar with your particular toy. Makes no difference if its cared for at the end of the last season or the start of this one, just make sure it’s done. With so many makes, models and types of equipment out there, we can’t touch on all of them here, so it’s up to you to take the initiative for safety.
Let’s not forget to add all of the non-recreation equipment also. Things such as mowers, trimmers and other machine driven things need the same care and attention as the “fun” stuff.
The next thing on the list of getting ready to use anything, is to know how to operate your equipment safely and within its limitations. A chain saw is not a weed whacker and a golf cart was not meant to pull out bushes no matter how far up on the rear wheels you get it. You’ll find that nearly every piece of equipment will have its own recommended safety gear intended to be used in conjunction with it. Please make sure you have the gear, use the gear and keep it in good condition.
This is a good time to mention that anyone that uses your equipment should also know how to use it properly and the gear that goes with it. We all know at times it’s hard to deny friends or family, but we are trying to avoid traumatic injuries here.
Friends, I’m sure we will touch on more specific things in the future with regard to recreation and yard equipment, but in the meantime, Nurse Heidi also provided us with a great resource that is chalk full of safety info you might want to look at. It’s on the web at: www.amtrauma.org.
Remember folks, we just spent months looking out the window from our couches and chairs waiting for summer. Let’s not spend a few months looking out at summer from a hospital bed!
Markey Township Firefighter
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