Number of Severe Injuries Rise in Summer

Created: 05/23/2014 10:48 PM
By: Jenna Lohse

(ABC 6 News) -- Seven Minnesotans die of injury every day. Sadly, nearly all are completely avoidable.

With Memorial weekend kicking off the summer, we talked with a trauma doctor who says the amount of serious injuries double during the warmer months.

"I’m happy to finally be able to go out without all the jackets and hats,” said Rita Vargas of Rochester.

Summer is in the air. "What do you guys think? Good, pretty nice beautiful day finally,” said Todd Satre of Byron.

People are getting out and doing things they haven't been able to do all winter, but that comes with a little reminder from health experts.

"They don't give safety a second thought, said Dr. Donald Jenkins, Trauma Medical Director at Mayo Clinic Hospital. "Each summer we have watched the number of injured patients come into our trauma center not only go up but the severity of their injuries also go up,” he said.

Jenkins says just overnight in Rochester, six trauma patients were admitted with death defying injuries. Many of those riding motorcycles, bicycles and ATVs without protective gear.

"Unfortunately I’m kind of a risk taker sometimes with that,” said Satre.

Another safety precaution surrounds young kids, with injury being the leading cause of death in children. High on the list are car accidents, kids getting struck while playing in the street, drownings and high falls.

"It's so prevalent as the cause of death that all of the other causes of death of children combined doesn't equal the total deaths related to injury,” said Dr. Jenkins.

So parents, keep a close eye on the little ones. While these tips may sound like common sense, statistics show otherwise with 200,000 Americans dying from avoidable injuries each year, according to Dr. Jenkins.

"Enjoy the weekend just take a minute and think about safety,” said Dr. Jenkins.

"As a mom, we always think about that,” said Vargas.

"If you're careful and safe, usually you're going to be ok,” said Satre.

Another precaution you may not think about is being careful when using pesticides and fertilizers. With 40,000 deaths per year poisoning actually kills more Americans every year than car crashes.