Spring Break Health Tips

spring breakIt’s that time of the year when millions of high school and college students are planning a long-time tradition-spring break. Although it is a time for friends and fun, it is also a time that can quickly take a turn for the worse. If you are planning a spring break trip, one of the most important things to add to your “trip list” is spring break safety. Here are a few tips to help you have a safe and enjoyable spring break.

Limit Alcohol Consumption

If you are of legal drinking age and you are planning to include drinking alcohol as part of your spring break, it is extremely important to keep in mind that alcohol can impair your actions and your judgment. Every 31 minutes someone dies in an alcohol related motor vehicle crash and non-fatal injuries occur every two minutes as a result of motor alcohol related accidents, so don’t drink and drive. There are plenty of tasty non-alcoholic alternatives, so choose your beverages with safety in mind.

Protect Skin from the Sun

After a cold, snowy winter, it can be extremely tempting to stay out in the warm sun longer than what you should. Although getting some sun can be beneficial for you, excessive and unprotected sun exposure can lead to changes in your skin texture, premature aging and even skin cancer. Remember to always wear sunscreen and reapply after getting in the water. The ideal sunscreen is one with an SPF of 15. Protect your eyes from the sun by wearing wrap-around sunglasses that provide 100% UV ray protection.

Drink Water & Eat Healthy

It requires a lot of fuel and energy to have fun, so be sure to eat a variety of healthy foods, including plenty of fruits and vegetables. It’s also recommended that you include lean meats, fish, poultry and low-fat dairy products in your diet. Be sure to drink plenty of water and try to limit the amount of salt, sugar and saturated fat you eat.

Stay Active

If you’re like most high school and college students, the winter months typically include a lot of sitting in class working on the computer and studying, so during your spring break take an opportunity to start a fitness program. While you’re away on break, participate in a variety of fun activities, such as dancing, playing volleyball, swimming and walking. Remember activity doesn’t have to been strenuous to be beneficial. Part of spring break safety is to avoid getting an injury so, start all new activities slowly and try to include activities that help to increase your breathing and heart rate as well as strengthen your muscles.

Surepoint Emergency Center is open 24 hours a day and is located at I-35E and Loop 288 on the east side of the highway. At Surepoint, you are seen by a doctor within 5 minutes of your arrival. No waiting in the hospital emergency room waiting when you are sick.

Patient Safety Awareness

patient safety


Patient safety is the prevention of adverse effects and errors when it comes to the health care of patients. It is also about medical providers and facilities protecting their patients from mishaps while under their care. Unfortunately, mistakes can happen anywhere, including medical facilities so organizations like National Patient Safety Foundation (NPSF), United for Patient Safety, and Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) are dedicated to enhancing health care and promoting awareness for patient safety.

What is Safety Culture?

Safety culture is generally links to error rates in health organizations. Improving the culture of safety within health care organizations is a critical component for reducing or preventing errors as well as improving the overall quality of health care. There are specific measures that prove to improve safety culture, such a teamwork training, unit-based safety teams and executive walk rounds.

What is Patient Engagement?

Patient engagement is a term that describes a patient’s ability and willingness to manage their health and care with less formal intervention. It includes everything from patient portals to tracking vitals; patient engagement allows patients to participate in their own health and well-being because it provides the patient with a better understanding of their illness. They can keep track of things they can do to improve their health and it generally encourages a better outcome for the patient, while lowering medical costs.

What Do I Need to Know as a Patient?

  • Communicate with your health care team. If you see something or feel that something is wrong, discuss your concerns with your nurse and/or doctor. It is always best to ask questions this way you and your doctor has all the information about the situation.
  • If you or a loved one are a victim of medical error, say something. Speak with an employee of the medical facility so that they can investigate the issue and address it as soon as possible. If you don’t feel comfortable speaking with a member of your immediate health care team, contact the customer service or patient advocacy department.
  • Educate and encourage your friends and family. Share your personal experiences, good and bad, with your community and urge them to do the same. This helps others know it’s okay and important to speak up to ensure quality health care and patient safety.
Surepoint Emergency Center is open 24 hours a day and is located at I-35E and Loop 288 on the east side of the highway. At Surepoint, you are seen by a doctor within 5 minutes of your arrival. No waiting in the hospital emergency room waiting when you are sick.

Sources: Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade, World Health Organization

Burns: When to Go to The Emergency Room

BurnsThe majority of scald burns (84%) occur in the home and in children under the age of five, the in-home injury rate increases to 95%. The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) estimate that there are more than 300 children seen in emergency rooms every day. The most common cause of burn injuries to children is scalds from hot liquids. It only takes about two seconds of exposure to water that is 148 degrees F to cause burns that are serious enough for surgery and the majority of these burns are preventable.

Tips to Prevent Scald Burns

Scalds from hot tap water are sometimes the most severe. To prevent the risk of scalding from hot water, set your water heater to 120 degrees F or just below the medium setting. Other prevention tips include:

  • Use the back burners and turn pan handles toward the back of the stove to prevent children from pulling them down.
  • Do not let children near the stove while you are cooking
  • Do not place hot drinks on edge of counters and tables
  • Use a mug with a lid for all of your hot drinks
  • Use a thermometer to test bath water and run hands through the water to check for hot spots
  • Stir and test food that has been cooked in the microwave before serving
  • Never hold or carry a child while you have hot drinks in your hand

When to Go to the Emergency Room

Burn severity depends on how much skin is damaged and the depth of the burn. There are 3 categories of burns:

  • First degree burns do not need to be treated by a healthcare provider. These burns are the least serious type and only the outer layer of skin is involved. There may be some pain, swelling and redness. First-degree burns should be soaked in cool water for about 5 minutes, then apply an antibiotic ointment and wrap in a dry gauze bandage.
  • Second degree burns are more serious and will cause white, red or splotchy skin, pain, swelling and blisters. A second degree burn that is smaller than 3-inches can be treated at home in the same manner as a first degree burn, except the burn should be placed in cool water for 15 minutes. If the burn is larger than 3-inches or it covers the face, feet, hands, groin, buttocks or a major joint, it should be treated as major burn, so you should seek immediate medical attention.
  • A third degree burn is the most serious type of burn. These burns require a call to 9-1-1 and immediate medical attention. With this type of burn all layers of the skin, the underlying fat and sometimes the bone and muscle. Someone with a third degree burn needs to go to the hospital immediately! Do not remove clothing that is stuck to the burn and do not soak the burn or apply ointment. Third degree burn victims may also have problems breathing, carbon monoxide poisoning and/or other toxic effects if there was smoke inhalation along with the burn.
Surepoint Emergency Center is open 24 hours a day and is located at I-35E and Loop 288 on the east side of the highway. At Surepoint, you are seen by a doctor within 5 minutes of your arrival. No waiting in the hospital emergency room waiting when you are sick.