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RI Hospital, Hasbro Add Snow Safety and Helmet Program

Friday, January 07, 2011

 

For both the young and young at heart, the ecstasy of dashing down a hill covered with freshly fallen snow is the quintessential thrill, but without taking precautions, it can lead to serious injury. According to a recent study published in the journal Pediatrics, approximately 20,000 children visit an emergency room each year as a result of a sledding accident. This winter, both Rhode Island Hospital and Hasbro Children’s Hospital have seen increased numbers of adults and children come through the emergency department doors with weather-related injuries. In response, the Injury Prevention Center at Rhode Island Hospital is urging parents and children to use caution and stay safe when taking part in outdoor activities this winter. In response, Hasbro Children’s Hospital will be gifting a free snow sport helmet to each child who comes in to the Hasbro Children’s Hospital emergency department following a snow sport injury. The helmets are provided through a gift to the Injury Prevention Center from the junior division of the Rhode Island State Grange. In addition, the Injury Prevention Center offers the following sledding safety tips:

  • Parents should always inspect the sledding hill carefully, making sure it is smooth, not too steep, and have a long, clear run off at the end.
  • Hills should be free of obstacles such as trees and rocks.
  • Never sled towards a road or pond.
  • Sleds that have some type of steering mechanism are safest. Never use a sled substitute, such as a cafeteria tray.
  • Always slide feet first, one person at a time.

 

Danger of Snow Blowers

In last month’s snowstorm, the Rhode Island Hospital emergency department treated eight patients who suffered injuries to the fingers or hand (including partial amputations) as a result of snow blower injuries. The Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that nearly 6,000 people sustain injuries from snow blowers each year, and at least 19 deaths since 1992. The Injury Prevention Center offers the following snow blower safety tips:

  • If the snow blower jams, turn it off and disengage the clutch
  • Wait five seconds after shutting machine off to allow blades to stop rotating
  • Always use a stick, shovel or broom handle to clear impacted snow
  • NEVER put your hand, foot, or any body part down the chute or around the blades
  • Beware of the recoil of the motor and blades after the debris has been cleared
  • Never leave a snow blower unattended while it is running.
  • Never leave a snow blower running in an enclosed area, people can and have died from carbon monoxide poisoning as a result
  • If you have an electric snow blower, be aware of where the power cord is at all time.
Sledding image: Buckingham Tahoe Rentals
 

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