Memorial Day is this weekend and the official start of summer, beaches, Hamptons, rooftop, and BBQs. Summer is also the start of many preventable accidents. Here are some tips from an emergency room physician Dr. Brady Pregerson who has seen his fill of accidents.

Here are some tips on staying safe while having fun this summer:

Opening windows:

Want some fresh air? Don’t push on the glass when opening windows. “I’ve seen many terrible hand and forearm lacerations from this mistake,” Dr. Pregerson writes. To which I will add: If there are children under age 10 in the house, install window guards. It takes but a moment for a young child to fall out of an open window.

Working or playing in the dirt:

If you work or play in the dirt, be sure your tetanus immunization is up to date. The deadly bacterium Clostridium tetani lives in soil, and it can enter the body through even a small cut or splinter, Dr. Pregerson said in an interview. Children require a vaccine series called DTaP, and adults need a booster every 10 years.

When you mow the lawn, first clear it of sticks and stones that can become flying missiles; wear goggles, and work crosswise on sloped terrain.

Protect yourself and your family from tiny critters that are disease vectors, like mosquitoes that transmit West Nile Encephalitis and ticks that spread Lyme disease. A repellent with DEET is effective against both. Suppress the mosquito population around the house by getting rid of standing water, especially after a rain.


Hiking, a summer favorite, is no fun if you get lost in the woods. Try to stick to blazed trails. Dr. Pregerson suggests turning around every so often to identify landmarks that may help guide you back. Let people know where you are going and when you’re likely to return. If you do get lost or caught in a storm, it may be best to stay put in a place where you might be found.

Try to hike with someone, and take plenty of water, sunscreen, an extra layer of clothing, a compass, knife and some nonperishable food. In wild-animal country, the doctor suggests wearing a “bear bell” on a wrist, ankle, belt or backpack to scare off four-legged hazards.

To read more safety tips, click here.

Jeffrey R. Ungvary


Jeffrey R. Ungvary