Summertime is here – Stay safe
June is National Safety Month and for good reason – it’s the first month of summer and when many people are active and outdoors. No one wants an injury to ruin the remainder of their summer. Keep these tips in mind to stay safe.
How to Protect Yourself
- Be aware of your surroundings. Many times we trip or fall because we are distracted and not paying attention to the present moment.
- Try to think ahead a few steps to see what the potential consequences to your actions may be. Hopping on your child’s skateboard in a bout of reminiscing may not be such a good idea after the fact.
- When driving, wear your seatbelt and don’t let the radio or your phone distract you. All it takes is a split second for an accident to occur.
- Get certified in first aid and CPR. We never know when we may need to use these skills.
- Check that your smoke alarm works and replace the battery every year.
- Don’t take any medication not prescribed to you – prescription pain killer overdoses are the top cause of unintentional deaths in the United States each year.
- Make sure you and your kids wear helmets when on bikes, scooters or skateboards.
Breaks vs. Sprains vs. Strains
If you do take a spill, it can be tough to tell the difference between a strain, sprain or broken bone.
Strains are a twist, pull or tear of a muscle or tendon. A sprain is a stretch or tear of a ligament, the tissue connecting two bones. Breaks are a fracture, splinter or complete break in a bone.
Signs of a muscle strain are pain, muscle spasm or weakness, swelling, inflammation and cramping. Sprains and breaks often bear similar symptoms to each other, although a severe break often is obvious to the eye. They both cause pain, swelling, bruising and an inability to bear weight on a joint, although a sprain may also cause stiffness as well. With a break or fracture, the area will be tender to the touch and may look deformed or out of place if serious.
When to Consult a Doctor
If a fracture or break is obvious, don’t hesitate on treatment – get in to see your primary care doctor or go to the emergency room as soon as possible.
If you’re unsure whether a bone is broken or think it might be a sprain or strain and your regular physician is too busy to fit you in, give Sentara MDLIVE a try. Its video capabilities let you consult with a board-certified doctor and allow visibility of your injured area for better diagnosing.
Log on to www.mdlive.com/sentara or call 1-800-335-4836 to get started. Virtual appointments are often scheduled within minutes of registration and are available 24/7.