HelloHealthy | Summer 2019 5 24/7 emergency care Accidents and serious illnesses do happen. We’re here for you no matter what. Mercy and Memorial’s four emergency departments are open 24 hours a day, year-round. We provide expert care for adults and children, and we have the area’s only ER just for kids at Memorial Hospital. For emergencies that are not life-threatening, use our online scheduling tool to select an estimated arrival time online at dignityhealth.org/er . Insist on helmets Riding a bike is good exercise for grownups and kids. But it’s dangerous if you or your child doesn’t wear a helmet. “An accident on your bike can be catastrophic,” says Dr. Goraya. “You should really take that into account.” Helmets can significantly reduce the risk of serious head injuries, as well as injuries to the face. Watch kids around water Never take your eyes off little ones—not even for a moment—when near water. “These types of accidents can happen in seconds,” Dr. Goraya says. Consider having young children wear a life jacket around pools or other bodies of water, even if they can swim, Dr. Goraya says. And adults should remember: Alcohol and water don’t mix. “That goes for boating, swimming, and other water sports,” he notes. Don’t get bugged Summertime is often when we encounter insects, including mosquitoes that sometimes spread diseases like West Nile. To help reduce the risk of being food for mosquitoes: ● ● Limit outdoor activities at dusk, when mosquitoes are more likely to bite. ● ● Remove standing water—where mosquitoes lay eggs—around your home. ● ● Use an insect repellent that contains DEET. You can safely use the repellent on children older than 2 months, but follow the label instructions carefully. For example, you’ll want to first spray some on your hands. Then avoid the child’s hands, eyes, and mouth when you apply it. Be sun-savvy Over time, exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays can increase the risk of skin cancer, including life-threatening melanoma. To help protect your family’s skin, get everyone to the shade during the hottest hours (usually from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.). And slather on a sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30. You’ll need to reapply sunscreen every two hours—sooner if you or your kids swim or sweat. “A lot of people forget to do that,” Dr. Goraya says.