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UPMC Mercy Trauma and Burn Center Fall Safety Tips

Find tips on:

  • Seat belt safety
  • Smoke alarms
  • Safe driving
  • Fall yard work

Seat Belt Safety for Moms-to-Be

You know that wearing a seat belt lowers your risk of serious injury and saves lives. For moms-to-be, it can be tricky to figure out the best way to fasten a seat belt.

Here’s what the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists suggests:

  • Place the lap belt low on your hips and under your belly.
  • Place the shoulder strap across your shoulder and chest above your belly.
  • When driving, adjust the seat to leave room between your belly and the steering wheel. After you adjust the seat, be sure to check your mirrors.

If you’re pregnant and in a car crash, even a minor one, get to the emergency department or your obstetrician right away.

UPMC Mercy is western Pennsylvania’s only Level I Trauma Center. We have in-house OB attending physicians and a Level III NICU, all trained to care for trauma in pregnancy.

Prevent House Fires With Smoke Alarms

There were more than 350,000 house fires across the United States in 2016, according to the National Fire Protection Association.

If there's a fire in your home, smoke spreads fast. Smoke alarms play a crucial safety role by giving you the time to get out.

Here are tips on how to use and maintain your smoke alarms.

  • Install smoke alarms on every floor of your home and test them once a month.
  • Replace smoke alarm batteries yearly. The staff at the UPMC Mercy Trauma Center suggest changing smoke alarm batteries in November, when you set your clocks back.
  • Replace all smoke alarms in your home every 10 years.

Safe Driving Is Serious Business

In 2017, motor vehicle accidents claimed over 40,000 lives, left 4.57 million people injured, and cost $413.8 billion. When you’re behind the wheel, safety should be your top priority.

Follow these tips to help keep you safe on the road.

  • Always wear your seat belt, whether you’re the driver or a passenger.
  • Give the road your full attention and focus. Don’t let things distract you. A crash can happen in seconds.
  • Slow down. Speeding is one of the biggest causes of fatalities on the road.
  • Drowsy driving is a major highway hazard. Sleep is the only way to prevent it.
  • Don’t drink and drive. Take a cab, use an app (think Uber or Lyft), or phone a friend.

Be Careful During Fall Cleanup

Fall yard work can strain your heart, especially if you’re older or have cardiovascular disease. Before you grab that rake or a ladder, think about your heart health and your physical condition.

If you still plan to do those chores yourself, these tips may help.

  • Warm up and stretch for at least 10 minutes, especially if you haven’t exercised in some time.
  • Resist the urge to complete the whole job at once. Start slowly and take frequent breaks.
  • Take your cell phone. If you have a problem, you can call for help.
  • As you work, listen to your body. If you feel warning signs — chest pain that persists, shortness of breath, or other heart attack symptoms — call 911 right away.

Contact Us to Learn More About the UPMC Mercy Trauma and Burn Centers

  • To learn more about the UPMC Mercy Trauma and Burn Centers, call 1-800-533-UPMC (8762).
  • To refer a patient, call UPMC MedCall at 1-800-544-2500 or 412-647-7000, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

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