Ah, summer. This season is highly enjoyable for many families. When school’s out and the sun’s shining, there’s no better time to get outside. That said, these next few months can pose many dangers. Although many of us love nothing more than to take a dip or soak up some rays, the reality is that you could be risking your health by doing so. However, by being aware of those risks, you can have a happy and healthy summer doing all the things you love most.
Let’s talk about sun safety first. You might love the look of tanned skin, but any and all direct exposure to sunlight is dangerous. Even if it’s overcast, you still need protection from it! In fact, cloudy days can actually emit 80% of UV sunlight that comes through on totally clear days. That means you can’t afford to skip the hat, the sunglasses, and the sunscreen.
While no sunblock actually protects you from 100% of UV rays, you still need to take precautions. Wearing some sunblock is certainly better than none. And in general, a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher is considered to be effective. If you’re especially pale or prone to sunburn, you may want to pick up some SPF 50.
But the SPF rating won’t matter much if you aren’t applying your sunscreen correctly! Recent data revealed that many of us don’t even know how to correctly apply sunscreen or don’t know that higher SPFs don’t protect you from the sun for longer periods. Although sunscreens with an SPF of above 30 will protect you from more than 97% of the sun’s rays, they won’t last for longer time frames; that’s why sunscreen should be reapplied every two hours (or more frequently, in some cases), particularly if you’re sitting in the sun, running around, or swimming in the water.
Speaking of water: you may love to splash around in the lake, the ocean, or the pool -- but you should always do so with caution. Despite the fact that children can be introduced to the water starting at six months of age, that doesn’t mean that swimming is always safe. You should never swim alone (remember the buddy rule!) and never swim without a lifeguard present. Be sure to use flotation devices like life vests if you’re out on a boat or are an inexperienced swimmer. To prevent accidental drowning at your home, make sure to install a four-sided, self-locking enclosed fence around your pool, spa, or other body of water. Keep in mind that young children can actually drown in less than two inches of water -- so never assume that anything is too shallow.
These statistics may be scary, but they can help you make safe decisions this summer. Always keep them in mind and take steps to protect yourself and your family when out in the sun or swimming in the water.
Now that summer is here, most families are eager to spend time outdoors. While that means there are ample opportunities for fun, it also means there are ample opportunities to get hurt. Broken bones, sprains, and strains are common at any time of year, of course, but there are plenty of activities during this time of year that can result in serious injury. Sports, hiking, swimming, and even running around in the yard sprinklers can all pose a safety risk. So if your child is injured while playing a game of soccer or you fall and hurt yourself while on a hiking trail, what's the game plan? Should you head straight to the emergency room or could your injury be easily treated at one of the many urgent care locations in your area? This post may help you decide.
When to Seek Medical Treatment at Urgent CareApproximately 44% to 65% of all ER episodes could actually have been treated at urgent care clinics. While that doesn't mean that every injury can be treated here, it does mean that many non-life-threatening conditions can be. In many circumstances, sprains, strains, fractures, and broken bones can be treated by urgent care medical staff -- particularly if they are in the hand, foot, ankle, or wrist. As you may know, the benefits of urgent care clinics include the ability to take X-rays and even set a cast. If you aren't sure whether your injury is too severe to be treated at a walk-in clinic, don't worry. One of the benefits of urgent care clinics that are housed in the same location as emergency rooms is that you won't have to go very far for treatment!
When to Go to the Emergency Room For CareSevere bone breaks (even those on the extremities) are best treated by your local emergency department. This is certainly true if you experience a bone break in areas like the spine, skull, pelvis, ribs, or sternum, as well as in multiple areas on the body. You should also go to the emergency room if your bone break has penetrated the skin. Many urgent care facilities are not able to sedate patients, which makes it more difficult to treat more severe breaks. However, this does not mean you should automatically head to the ER if you think you've broken a bone. With the most severe (or potentially severe) types of injuries, emergency treatment is recommended. But less substantial breaks -- and certainly sprains and strains -- can be assessed and treated at urgent care facilities.
One of the many benefits of urgent care is that you can save time and money without sacrificing on quality of treatment. If you or someone you loved gets hurt this summer, you may very well be able to pursue fast treatment at a walk-in clinic. That said, more severe injuries may be best served by emergency departments. With Legacy ER, however, you really don't have to choose between the two. We offer both types of facilities under one roof in order to serve our patients' needs. To find out more, please get in touch with us today.
According to medical experts, this year has been particularly bad for seasonal allergies. And depending on where you live or travel -- and what you're allergic to -- you could experience these symptoms over the course of several months. Seasonal allergies aren't life-threatening, which means you can go to an urgent care center (like 27% of U.S. patients did between 2014 and 2016) for fast, convenient care if you're seeking allergy relief. But you also might want to try these tips to reduce your itchy eyes, sore throats, headaches, and other symptoms throughout this season.
Most of us try our hardest to avoid risky situations that could end with someone getting hurt. But sometimes, you may not be able to anticipate the dangers that may cause you harm. That’s evidenced by the fact that someone is injured every second in the U.S. -- and every three minutes, someone is killed due to preventable circumstances.
Summertime, in particular, can present a great many health hazards. Although the snow and ice may be gone, the increased time we spend outside during this time of year can be detrimental to our well-being in certain ways. That’s why it’s not actually surprising that emergency room visits increase anywhere from 15% to 27% between Memorial Day and Labor Day.
For example: jumping on the trampoline with your kids can get your heartrate up, but it can also leave you vulnerable to injury. In fact, orthopedic surgeons see up to three patients per week due to injuries sustained on a trampoline. Those buzzing bees can wreak havoc on our lives, too; nearly 7 million people experience life-threatening allergies as a result of insect stings and bites. And if you thought that family picnic was a safe haven, you could be wrong -- especially if food is left out in hot temperatures for long periods. Food poisoning always peaks in summertime, but it already puts around 300,000 people in the hospital every year.
This summer, it’s essential to avoid allergens, watch what you eat, and take care to prevent unnecessary injuries. If your instincts are telling you that a situation could pose a potential threat to your health (or that of your family), you might want to listen to your gut from the get-go. And of course, if you do sustain an injury, experience an allergic reaction, or come down with an illness, you should seek out fast medical treatment from your local urgent care clinic.
Although urgent care clinics can now be found all across the country, not everyone realizes that these facilities can treat all kinds of injuries and ailments. Many patients assume that they can't go to their local walk-in urgent care center for flu treatment, a broken bone, or even minor burns or back pain. Often, this results in unnecessary (and expensive) emergency room visits. That was certainly a trend that Dr. Jay Woody, the founder and Chief Medical Officer of Legacy ER and Urgent Care, observed back when he was a board-certified ER physician.
In a recent profile in VoyageDallas, Dr. Woody explained: "I began to notice a disturbing trend -- many of the people I treated on a daily basis did not need emergency level care. These people did not have many options at the time, so they went to the hospital which leads to overcrowding, long waits, and large bills for those non-emergent cases."
Dr. Woody's experiences are echoed in statistical data. While there are many reasons to go to the emergency room, the reality is that only 3% of patients who go to an urgent care clinic actually need to be diverted to an ED. Still, Dr. Woody's involvement in emergency room care made him want to keep helping those who found themselves in potentially life-threatening health situations.
Over a decade ago, Dr. Woody and his team came up with the ideal compromise: a full-service emergency room attached to an urgent care center, both housed in one retail-type setting. At that time, something like this had never been attempted. Some even believed that the move was too risky. But the team forged ahead knowing that they had tapped into something innovative and necessary.
As Dr. Woody told VoyageDallas:
"By not being affiliated with any hospital or health system... customer service and loyalty was our main marketing. We knew we could create a new standard for the level of service in healthcare. Patients were used to long waits, confusing billing, and most of all, a less-than-stellar level of service. We hatched a novel plan to train all of our staff in customer service and [eliminate] all of the typical healthcare stereotypes... We invite patients to come in, ask questions and to always get a smile... We created a proprietary process that alleviates the typical long waits and door-to-door times by keeping patients moving. Most of our Urgent Care level patients are getting back into their cars within 35 minutes. Even on our busiest days, patients will only be in our reception area for less than 5 minutes. In these busy North Texas communities, time and money are the biggest factors for customer loyalty and this dual model and attention to customer service have created a recipe for success."
There have been challenges along the way, of course. But through it all, we've been dedicated to providing excellent medical care and fantastic customer service to every patient who walks through our doors -- whether they have reasons to go to the emergency room or can be treated by our urgent care staff. Best of all, our model provides immense cost savings: in 2017, 84% of our 85,000 patients seen were billed at the urgent care level -- thus eliminating $20,000,000 in unnecessary ER charges for patients and their employers. So while we still see some patients with reasons to go to the emergency room section of our facility, it's clear that the majority of those who come here for urgent medical care are able to be treated quickly and affordably. Contact us today to learn more.
The full interview with Dr. Jay Woody can be found on VoyageDallas's website.
Legacy ER & Urgent Care
Legacy pioneered retail healthcare in 2008 and is now ranks in the top 1% of global retailers for customer service.