ATV injuries surpassing fireworks at UMC emergency rooms

ATV injuries surpassing fireworks at UMC emergency rooms
Source: KCBD Video

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - While everyone enjoys having fun over the Fourth of July, UMC is seeing a darker side to the holiday.

Residents are making their way into UMC's emergency room, reporting all kinds of seasonal injuries.

"Mainly this time of year we get the very typical firework blast injuries to the hands to the face," Bruce Mitchell, Director of Nursing at UMC, said.

In the past 24 hours, UMC's emergency room has seen four or five firework burn victims, which officials with UMC say is average for this time of year, especially after a major holiday like the Fourth of July.

But this year, the hospital is actually seeing more injuries from ATV accidents than from fireworks.

"We've seen more ATV accidents than we've seen firework accidents last 24-48 hours," Mitchell said. "We have probably seen six or seven ATV accidents as people continue to enjoy the holidays and the nice weather."

One ATV accident, currently under investigation by the Lubbock County Sheriff's office, resulted in the death of a 5-year-old boy. Campbell Longley was just one of the half dozen people who came through the doors of UMC's emergency room.

"I think it's a little bit of both speed, jumps, just having fun," Mitchell said. "No one is planning for accidents, but they do happen. They're just a fast moving vehicle so things happen."

As people start to use up their firework stash and the weather continues to warm up, Mitchell says UMC will unfortunately continue to see an increase in people coming in with injuries related to fireworks and ATVs.

He says his best advice for firework safety is to stay a safe distance away as you light them up. As for ATVs, don't speed, and of course, avoid getting behind the wheel if you have been drinking.

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