Simple Things to Do to Stay Safe This Summer with Intermountain Health

Industry: Healthcare

Intermountain Health trauma experts are reminding everyone about the importance of staying safe

Salt Lake City, UT (PRUnderground) June 9th, 2023

Trauma is the leading cause of death in the United States for those under the age of 46.

With summer heating up, Intermountain Health trauma experts are reminding people about the importance of staying safe when out recreating in the great outdoors. They say knowing how to stay safe, preparing in advance, and using the right safety gear is key to having a safe and healthy summer.

“Trauma are unpredictable and can happen in any place at any moment,” said Adam Balls, MD, senior medical director of emergency medicine and trauma for Intermountain Health. “There are things we can all do to prevent life-threatening injuries.”

Intermountain Health’s emergency and trauma teams have five safety reminders to help everyone have a safe summer and help avoid a trip to the emergency room.


Fatal car crashes typically nearly double during the summer months in Utah.

In 2022, the Utah Department of Transportation reports 320 people did not survive traffic related accidents. So, far this year UDOT reports 65 fatalities in the first four months of the year. The most common contributing factor to roadway fatalities, according to UDOT is failure to buckle up.

Unfortunately, seat belt use in Utah has decreased from 90% in 2019 to 88% in 2021.

“The act of buckling up is not just a personal decision, it can affect everyone in the vehicle and others around you. It can save your life and the lives of those in your vehicle,” said Dr. Balls. “The best thing you can do from becoming a fatality statistic is to buckle up. It only takes a few seconds.”


“Kids and adults can be seriously injured, sometimes fatally, if they fall while riding,” said D Millar, MD, Intermountain Health Utah Valley Hospital trauma medical director and surgeon.

“A traumatic brain injury can be life altering and unfortunately, we don’t get to choose how severe of an injury an individual might sustain. The brain is not like a broken bone that we can fix, so we strongly advocate for preventing head injuries.”

Specifically, motorcycle helmets reduce the risk of head injury by 69 percent and reduce the risk of death by 42 percent. While bicycles are slower, helmets are just as important for cyclists of all ages. Last year, 15 Utahns lost their lives in bicycle related accidents and Intermountain Health treated more than 2,700 bicycle-related injuries in its emergency departments in Utah and Idaho.


“Don’t forget there is more to protective gear than just a helmet,” said Dr. Balls. “Goggles, over-the-ankle boots, gloves, sturdy full-length pants, a long-sleeved shirt and the right footwear are great at taking a little punishment if you take crash.”

Whenever possible, use approved DOT/SNELL gear. Look for the DOT symbol on the outside back; this means it meets Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards.


After a record-breaking snow year, rivers in Utah are running high, cold, and fast. Drowning is the second leading cause of death among Utah children under the age of 14.

Experts at Intermountain Primary Children’s Hospital have these general water safety guidelines:

  • Empty out kiddie pools or buckets of water at home after use
  • Have children wear a life jacket whenever near water
  • Never take your eyes off of children in the water
  • While supervising, stay alert and avoid distractions
  • Teach children to swim, but remember, there is no substitute for supervision
  • Keep a telephone nearby in case of an emergency

If you are injured this summer, do not delay care. If you have a medical emergency, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency department.

About Intermountain Health

Headquartered in Utah with locations in seven states and additional operations across the western U.S., Intermountain Health is a nonprofit system of 33 hospitals, 385 clinics, medical groups with some 3,900 employed physicians and advanced care providers, a health plans division called Select Health with more than one million members, and other health services. Helping people live the healthiest lives possible, Intermountain is committed to improving community health and is widely recognized as a leader in transforming healthcare by using evidence-based best practices to consistently deliver high-quality outcomes at sustainable costs. For more information or updates, see

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