Trauma Injury & Prevention
Community Focus with Mary Washington Healthcare
At Mary Washington Healthcare, we look to empower individuals in our community
and help them establish healthy behaviors and routines that will encourage
a safer lifestyle. Part of this comes from our involvement in injury prevention
programs throughout Fredericksburg, Stafford, and surrounding areas in
Virginia. By educating our community on safety and wellness, we can help
Bike and Skateboard Safety
Riding a bike is a great way to spend time with your family. It is also
an excellent way to stay fit. However, it is important to practice bike
safety in order to avoid injury. Injuries can range from cuts and bruises
to more serious issues such as broken bones, internal injuries and head trauma.
It is important to remember the following when riding bikes and skateboards:
- Make sure you/your child have proper training
- Keep new bike riders in an enclosed area
- Wear a properly-fitted helmet
- Wear reflective clothing
- Make sure your bike has reflectors on the frame and wheels
- Buy a bike that you or your children fit
- Obey the rules of the road
- Be aware of your surroundings
- Always wear protective equipment
- Ride with traffic, not against it
- Learn and use hand signals
Child drownings remain the leading cause of unintentional death among children
ages 1 to 4 years old.
Young children can drown in anything over an inch of water. Toilet bowls
and buckets are extremely hazardous for very young children. A child’s
head up to about age 3 is very heavy – about two-thirds of their
body weight. They can innocently look over the edge into the bucket or
toilet and go head-first right in, unable to call for help.
Backyard pools always require undivided attention and supervision from
adults. The safest fencing is at least 4 feet tall and secured with a
For more information visit
Being safe when on or near a river is also very important. Unfortunately,
most river drowning victims don’t make it to the hospital and the
tragedy turns into a recovery mission instead of a rescue. Popular riverside
parks are not always a safe place for swimming, and everyone should wear
a personal flotation device when they are on or near a river. The river
may look calm on the surface, but there are dangerous undercurrents tree
branches underneath that cannot be seen. Also, shoreline rocks and logs
can be extremely slippery.
For more information about staying safe near or on rivers, visit
If someone is in trouble in the water, call 911 immediately.
Reach or Throw, Row, Don’t Go:
Reach: Use a fishing pole, towel, boat oar, etc.
Throw: A rope is best - you can then pull in the person. Otherwise throw something
that will float - a ball, a plastic bottle, a lifebuoy. This will keep
the person afloat until help comes.
Row: It's not safe to go near a swimmer with the boat motor running. Use
the oars to bring the boat close enough to reach or throw.
Don't Go: Without expert training and experience in lifesaving techniques, you could
put yourself in danger along with the person you are trying to help.
Tips to Avoid Distracted Driving
Motor vehicle crashes are the number one cause of trauma in our area. Driving
while distracted or intoxicated dramatically increases your risk of being
involved in a motor vehicle crash. Crashes are not accidents. Stop and
think before getting behind the wheel.
Think Before You Drive
- Eat, drink and make phone calls BEFORE you drive
- Leave early so you aren’t stressed
- Be familiar with your vehicle’s instrumentation.
- Check your route BEFORE leaving. Do not attempt to read a map while driving.
- Attend to personal grooming BEFORE you drive.
Stay Focused and Pay Attention
- Limit interaction with passengers.
- Avoid the temptation to talk on the phone while driving
- Never text while driving.
- Keep our eyes on the road
- Don’t take notes while driving. Find a safe place to stop before
writing things down.
Avoid Driver Fatigue
- Don’t drive if you are tired
- If you begin to feel sleepy while driving, pull off the road in a safe
place to rest
- Share the driving responsibilities on long trips
- Don’t daydream while driving
Don’t Drive When Angry or Upset
- Avoid emotional conversations with passengers while driving
- Pull over to the side of the road if you are too upset to drive
- Avoid “rubbernecking” to look at crashes or other activities
on the road
- Always have an “out” and be prepared to use it
- Keep a vigilant watch around the vehicle by shifting your eyes every few
seconds and checking your rearview mirror
- Use your signals early enough when turning and changing lanes
- Be prepared for poor driving conditions
And NEVER drink and drive!