'safety' posts

Summer, sun, and why you still need sunscreen in Seattle

Summer is almost here, so this is a good time to talk about sunscreens.

We all get excited when the sun comes out in our area, but it is always important to remember that everyone should avoid direct sun exposure when it is the harshest -between 10am and 4pm during the summer months,. Everyone should wear sunscreen, hats and covered clothing when exposed to the sun. Cloudy days do not offer too much protection as the UV rays can penetrate through the clouds and affect the skin the same way. Children and adolescents in particular should avoid tanning beds.

What you should know about different types of sunscreen:

How to avoid and care for cuts

It happens so quickly. You’re innocently chopping up vegetables for dinner when you find yourself on the receiving end of a cut — ouch! “Cuts are very common,” says Steven Rittenberg, M.D., who specializes in Internal Medicine at the Swedish Issaquah Primary Care Clinic. “However, there are some practical ways to prevent them, and some specific steps for treating them that can save you a trip to the doctor.”

Avoiding The “Ouch!”

Preventing cuts in the home is largely common sense, but life gets busy and we get careless, so here are a few reminders:

  • Keep knives sharp. Although this may sound counter-intuitive, a sharp knife slides more easily through an item avoiding a slip that may cut something you didn’t intend to cut, like your finger.
  • Pay attention. Resist the temptation to become distracted while using a knife.
  • Cut away from, not toward, yourself.
  • Don’t hold food that you are cutting; use a cutting board.
  • Don’t leave knives in dangerous places — loose in a drawer, in the sink, on the counter or facing up in the dishwasher — especially if you have children.
  • When handing someone a knife or sharp scissors, hold the flat part of the knife blade or closed blades of the scissors so they can grasp the handle.
  • Don’t pick up broken glass; sweep or vacuum it up thoroughly.

Treating It Right

When a cut does occur, the proper treatment will help to avoid infection or other complications:

Look Before You Lock

 Why is it so dangerous to leave a child alone in a car?  Because of biology, anatomy, thermodynamics.

Let’s talk a little about Infant and Child Anatomy:

  • Infants and children do not temperature regulate well. They have too much surface area for their body mass, meaning they lose heat too quickly because they don’t have enough mass to contain the heat.
  • Because they lose heat quickly, they generate it faster, 3 to 5 times faster than adults. For example, when you’re holding a baby for a while and then hand them off to someone else, you feel chilled. This is because the baby was generating so much heat that our temperature drops. (We are the best thermo-regulators that a baby can have.)

Next, let’s set the stage and look at what happens in a car:

Car seat safety

Thousands of Americans are injured in motor vehicle accidents every year. Motor vehicle crashes kill more people ages 5 to 34 than any other cause of death.

We, as parents and caregivers, can reduce the number of fatalities and injuries due to motor vehicle accidents by making sure children are restrained in their seats, car seats, or booster seats appropriately every time they ride in a motor vehicle.

Here are a few recommendations regarding appropriate use of restraints in different age groups:

Winter weather closings and updates

January 21-22

  • All campuses and locations are expected to have normal operations.

Information for Friday, January 20

  • Due to weather, the continuing medical education conference Advances in Neuromodulation 2012: Current State of the Art and Emerging Indications has been cancelled.

  • As of 5:00 pm, main hospital campuses and emergency departments are operating and will operate as scheduled on Friday, January 20. Any known exceptions (a few late starts for some primary care and specialty clinics) are noted below. Ballard Primary Care plans to stay open late as the road conditions improve and it is safer to drive so we can accomodate any patients in the community who need  care prior to the weekend.
  • The following classes are cancelled on Friday, January 20: First Hill Sibling Preparation at 2:00pm and Newborn Preparation at 3:00pm; and Ballard Birth Center Tours at 4:00pm, 5:30pm, and 7:00pm. All scheduled Edmonds classes are also cancelled.

  • All Minor & James clinics open at 10am. Please call the clinics directly if you have any questions or need to reschedule your appointment. See a list of clinic phone numbers here.

  • If you are experiencing a power outage, stay safe. Prevent poisoning from carbon monoxide: Only use generators outdoors and far from open windows and vents. Never use generators or portable propane heaters indoors, in garages or carports. Never cook or heat inside on charcoal or gas grills. More information.

If we get additional weather notices or operational updates, we'll keep you posted here in this blog post and on Facebook.

Updates from Thursday, January 19

  • 11:45 - Somebody wrote a note (by hand!) and handed it to the security team at First Hill. It reads:
    "To whom it may concern, we arrived about 6am for surgery scheduled for 9am. A big thank you & great job to all of the workers out there in the freezing rain keeping the sidewalks clear. They have been going non-stop since we arrived."
    We agree  - a big thank you again to all of our staff, employees, physicians, and nurses - and others in the city and surrounding areas working to keep the streets and sidewalks safe and passable!

Let it snow

Have you been outside enjoying this weekend's snow fall?. Whether or not you were able to play outside, we thought we'd share some new videos in our robotic surgery series that don't require going out in the cold..and might give you inspiration of a craft project to do with your kids.

In Seattle, we can make a snowman:

And not only can our robots (driven by our robotic surgeons)
fold paper airplanes, but they can also make a snowflake:

How's the View

When pilots train they learn from a book, and then simulators, then by riding in the co-pilot’s seat. It’s a progression of information that’s built upon the comprehension of the previous set of knowledge learned.

Driving a car is no different. It is not recommended, and by Washington State Law not allowed, that children ride in the front seat until the age of 13 years old. This has to do with the bone structure and how it develops after we go through puberty; how the seatbelt holds onto said bone structure and the fact that in the front seat, in a front-end collision, the engine block is being shoved into the passenger compartment. This is a very safe, reasonable recommendations for keeping kids safe in a car.

If a child starts riding in the front seat at the age of 13 years, they will have 2 to 3 years worth of observation before they start driving the vehicles themselves...unless they’re looking at screens.
Years ago, we started putting DVD players and game systems into vehicles to keep kids happy and occupied. Smartphones, iPods, iPads, and all other handheld entertainment systems have followed those kids up to the front seat, once they were old enough to sit there.

The problem lies with the fact that they’re not learning from observation. The parents are probably not having conversations about ...

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