Texting has become so commonplace in modern society that some people have begun developing repetitive strain injuries like “texting thumb” because of it. This is a concern by itself, but when texting goes on behind the wheel of a car, it can be deadly. Far too many people have already lost their lives because of distracted driving. The emergency care physicians and trauma team at Riverside Community Hospital urge our neighbors throughout Riverside to think twice before texting while driving.
The Prevalence of Distracted Driving
Car crashes caused by distracted drivers have increased at an alarming rate. According to the official U.S. government website for distracted driving, 1.7% of drivers in 2013 were found to be visibly manipulating devices or text-messaging. Just one year later, that statistic had risen to 2.2%. Drivers between the ages of 16 and 24 have the highest rate of being observed texting while driving. Perhaps even more alarming, a 2015 survey found that one-third of respondents admitted that they texted while driving and three-fourths of responders reported seeing others texting while driving.
The Risks of Distracted Driving
Texting while driving and engaging in other forms of distracted driving can result in life-threatening injuries that require intensive trauma care. When you watch this featured video, you’ll hear a registered nurse on the trauma care team at Riverside Community Hospital describe the types of injuries they see in the ER. These range from concussions and open fractures to internal bleeding caused by spleen and liver injuries-just to name a few. The patients who end up in the Trauma Center aren’t always the ones who caused the crash by texting while driving. Quite often, the patients are innocent victims of the carelessness of others. By choosing not to drive while distracted, drivers can help save the lives of others as well as themselves.
When a car accident does occur in the Riverside area, patients and their families can rely on Riverside Community Hospital. We are among the largest emergency care facilities and Level II Trauma Centers within the Inland Empire. Please refer all medical emergencies to 911; non-emergent inquiries about our community hospital may be directed to a registered nurse at (951) 788-3463.
Dozens of young children lose their lives each year because of heatstroke caused by being left alone in a parked car. And contrary to popular belief, these deaths do not usually occur because the parents were being negligent or were uninformed of the risks. Typically, these cases arise simply because exhausted parents forgot their kids were in the backseat. Since a tragic death could affect any family, it’s critical for all parents to take precautionary measures. Here at Riverside Community Hospital, our emergency care team urges parents to adopt safety habits that may save their children’s lives.
Heatstroke is the most severe type of heat-related illness. It occurs when the body’s temperature is over 105 degrees Fahrenheit. When a child’s body temperature reaches 107 degrees, the condition is fatal. Heatstroke can cause seizures, delirium, unconsciousness, weakness, and rapid heartbeat, and it requires immediate care in the ER. Heatstroke is a particularly serious risk for infants and young children because they cannot regulate their body temperatures as well as an adult can. This means that they cannot withstand the high temperatures within a car for any length of time.
Identifying the Risks of a Hot Car
On a hot day, a parked car is like a sauna. Within a matter of minutes, the temperature inside a car can rise to dangerous levels. It’s important for parents and caregivers to know that children have died in cars because of heatstroke even when the outdoor temperature was in the 60s; hot car deaths are not only a concern when heat waves occur. It will not protect a child to leave the windows cracked open or the car parked in the shade. The only way to prevent hot car deaths is to never leave children in parked cars, not even for a few minutes.
If you see a child in distress, call 911 immediately. The ER physicians and nurses at Riverside Community Hospital provide responsive care that can save lives. Residents throughout the Riverside area can direct their non-emergent questions about our hospital services to a registered nurse at (951) 788-3463.
Most of the time, parents want what is best for their kids, but protecting a young child from every possible risk is a big job. Fortunately, there is a simple way to protect kids from dangerous infectious diseases: vaccinations. A vaccine contains dead or severely weakened organisms. The introduction of the vaccine into the body triggers the creation of antibodies against the disease, which offers protection from disease transmission. It’s natural for parents to have some questions about vaccinations. In the Riverside area, parents can turn to the doctors at Riverside Community Hospital for guidance.
Vaccinations protect your child.
The primary reason to vaccinate your child is to protect him or her from serious diseases, some of which may be life-threatening. Vaccines guard against diseases like hepatitis B, rotavirus, diphtheria, pertussis, polio, and measles—just to name a few. Since diseases like polio aren’t present in the U.S. any longer, it’s easy to forget just how dangerous they truly are. This may be why some parents still have reservations about vaccines, but you can rest assured that vaccinating your child on schedule will help save his or her life.
Vaccinations protect others throughout the community.
Some individuals are not able to receive vaccines because of health reasons such as severe allergies. Others, such as newborns, are too young to be fully vaccinated. By choosing to vaccinate your child, you can protect his or her playmates and everyone else in the community from the spread of dangerous diseases.
Travel increases the spread of infectious diseases.
Some parents might wonder why they should vaccinate their child against diseases that aren’t usually a problem in the U.S. The answer is that global travel allows diseases to infect people regardless of residency. It is possible for a child to acquire a deadly disease from a playmate, who may have acquired it from traveling abroad.
The risks associated with vaccines are minimal.
Vaccines undergo intensive testing and reviews before being made available to the public. They are very safe and effective. It is normal for the injection to cause some localized and temporary tenderness and discomfort at the injection site. However, the risks are minimal and it’s important to note that vaccines do not cause autism.
Families in Riverside will find exceptional maternal, newborn, and pediatric care at the Family Birthplace Riverside Community Hospital. Our hospital team strongly encourages new parents to get their kids vaccinated in accordance with their pediatrician’s recommendations. For general questions about vaccines or about our hospital services, call our Consult-A-Nurse line at (951) 788-3463.
Back to school time is approaching quickly and for parents this means it’s time to be on the lookout for a whole new set of safety concerns. While sunburn and insect bites are common risks during summer break, the school year brings concerns about backpack injuries, school bus safety, and sports injuries. Families in the Riverside area can turn to their local hospital for preventive healthcare and emergency care. Riverside Community Hospital is your partner in wellness.
It’s often thought that an orthopedic doctor’s primary patients are older adults, but in fact orthopedic injuries among children are a widespread problem. Heavy backpacks are a common cause of back and shoulder pain among young kids. To protect your child, consider purchasing a slightly smaller backpack to prevent him or her from filling it too full. Kids who must transport heavy loads can use a wheeled pack. When choosing a backpack, look for one with wide, well-padded straps, hip and chest belts, and reflective material to increase your child’s visibility. Avoid messenger-style bags and teach your child to always use both shoulder straps.
Some school districts have established very strict policies regarding the way in which children board and leave a school bus. Teach your child to wait off the road until the bus has completely stopped. If your child needs to cross the road, it’s best if the bus driver waves to let your child know when it’s safe to cross. However, kids still need to look both ways before crossing. Kids should also be taught to avoid engaging in disruptive behaviors while on the bus that may distract the driver.
Before joining a school sports team, kids should undergo a sport physical at their community hospital to make sure it’s safe for them to play. It’s also a good idea for parents to become aware of the risks of a particular sport before agreeing to let their child play. All kids should wear appropriate safety gear for their chosen sport.
At Riverside Community Hospital, you’ll find compassionate emergency care services, which includes a Level II Trauma Center. Our community hospital is also a leading provider of orthopedic care, robotic surgery, and Ob/Gyn services. Residents of Riverside can call (951) 788-3463 to speak with a registered nurse at our hospital.