Fort Worth, Texas,
10:27 AM

New Emergency Department opens just in time for back-to-school injuries

First week of school one of the busiest for ED staff

The first week of school is one of the busiest weeks of the year for emergency rooms across the country. But the team at Cook Children's is ready for the rush thanks to a brand new Emergency Department (ED) set to open Monday, Aug. 22.

“Last year during that first week of school, we saw more kids coming to the ED for playground falls, sports injuries and pedestrian accidents with kids walking or riding their bike to school,” said Denise Doherty, RN, director of the Emergency Department at Cook Children’s. “But with the new ED I think we’ll be better able to handle what comes our way.”

The new $14.2 million expanded ED provides larger exam rooms that are designed so families and caregivers can better share the space. The room layout allows for the family to be on one side of the room, but also provides plenty of space on the other side, so the caregiver can be more mindful of the patient.

Cook Children’s new Emergency Department, features:

  • 10 intake rooms.
  • A new CT (computed tomography) room with a CT scanner that is 5 times faster than the previous one.
  • 76 general exam rooms (five that can be used for resuscitation), up from 56 rooms in the old ED.
  • All rooms are private and without curtains.
  • Radiology scanning will now be embedded within the ED and all initial imaging will occur at bedside.
  • Two X-ray rooms.

“The new ED allows ultrasound technicians to bring their technology with them and the patients don’t have to leave the exam rooms,” Doherty said. “With the additional imaging capabilities and lab services in our ED rooms, patients won’t have to be moved around as much as in our previous ED. This will be helpful with the amount of sports and pedestrian injuries we see during that first week of school.”

Pedestrian safety

Kids walking or riding their bikes, scooters or skateboards can be dangerous when not done correctly. The next few weeks, while everyone is getting adjusted to kids going back to school, can prove especially hazardous. More children are hit by cars during September than any other month of the year, according to Safe Kids Worldwide.

Safe Kids recommend teaching your kids these safe behaviors:

  • Look left, right and left again before crossing the street. Cross when the street is clear, and keep looking both ways while crossing.
  • Walk, don’t run.
  • Understand and obey traffic signals and signs.
  • Walk facing traffic, on sidewalks or paths, so that you can see oncoming cars. If there are no sidewalks, walk as far to the left as possible.

Practice safe behaviors:

  • Don’t allow a child under age 10 to cross streets alone as he may not be able to fully appreciate the speed of cars on the road.
  • Require children to carry a flashlight at night, dawn and dusk. Add retro-reflective materials to children’s clothing so that a child can be seen by motorists, even in the dark.
  • Don’t let kids play in driveways, unfenced yards, streets or parking lots. Drivers may not see or anticipate children playing.

Doherty reminds parents that bike helmets should be worn at all times for kids riding a bike to school. Bike helmets should sit on the top of the head with the chinstrap fastened, holding the helmet in place if the child is to shake his or her head or fall.

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