Outdoor Safety

Kids are looking to enjoy their last few weeks of summer, before the school year rolls around once again.

It’s one of the busiest times of the year when it comes to injures at the ER. According to Dr. Gregory Thomas, an Orthopedic Traumatologist at Geisinger CMC in Scranton, “The major holidays over the summer!  July 4th, Labor Day coming up, but any weekend there’s something going on, when kids tend to get in trouble.”

And children aren’t the only summertime injury stories.

Take, for example, so-called injury hot-spots, like Scranton’s Nay Aug gorge. A location that often requires the assistance of a medical helicopter.

“Ironically, NayAugPark has a landing zone, a helipad, so that’s convenient,” says Dr. David Schoenwetter is the medical director at Geisinger Life-Flight.

He says there are 5-bases in northeastern and central PA, including one here at the Wilkes-BarreScrantonInternationalAirport.

The helicopter crew does about 3-thousand transports per year, many of those in the summertime.

Dr. David Schoenwetter, “Ricketts Glen, since we go there so frequently, the service has an area set up.  There’s a field there when you get to 118.”

But even injuries that don’t require a flight are cause for concern.

Dr. Thomas points out playground injuries, bike and atv accidents, and kids getting hit by vehicles as the most common, and most preventable, summertime issues. “They fracture their elbows, a lot of times that requires surgery.  We worry about neurovascular injuries, which is devastating to the child.  A lot of times they’ll injure their femur, and they’ll be in a cast for 6 months, very unhappy about that.”



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