ER Wait Time: 17 minutes | If you are having a medical emergency, call 9-1-1.

Memorial Day weekend marks the “unofficial” start to summer – a time to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice in service to our country and a time to gather with family and friends.

Time outside hiking, grilling, swimming, or traveling to visit family and friends are just a few of the Memorial Day weekend activities that can result in an unexpected injury and a visit to the emergency room.

Located in the heart of Newark, Saint Michael’s Emergency Department treats adult patients for a variety of injuries and is open during the holiday weekend.

“Many of the injuries seen during the weekend and immediately after are often holiday-related such as falls, dehydration, sunburn, and much more,” said Emergency Room Nurse Manager Kirsten Roth.

Roth notes that many of the injuries presented during holidays can be prevented. Here are some tips to follow to keep you out of the emergency room this Memorial Day Weekend:

Always wear your seatbelt.

AAA predicts that 39.2 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more away from home over the Memorial Day weekend, an 8.3% increase compared to 2021. Always practice safe driving by wearing a seatbelt, avoiding texting while driving, keeping your eyes on the road, and taking breaks along the journey. It’s important to stay hydrated, especially if you have children or elderly travelers with you.

Be attentive around water.

Stay attentive around water, especially with children as tragedies can happen in the blink of an eye. Adults should take turns as designated watchers, be fully attentive, and be within arm’s reach of kids in the pool. This can help spot trouble before it turns into tragedy. Precautions should be taken as well for older kids, even if they’re strong swimmers. Keep a telephone nearby in the case of an emergency.

Wear a helmet

Wearing a helmet can reduce the risk of serious brain injury and death. During a fall or collision, most of the impact of the energy is absorbed by the helmet rather than the head and brain. Whether you’re outside on a bicycle, motorcycle, skateboard, or Rollerblades, or engaging in a potentially risky outdoor activity, we encourage you to wear a helmet.

Food Safety

Spring and summer are great times for outside dining and grilling. We encourage you to follow safe food practices this holiday season. In warmer weather, bacteria can multiply faster, and food items like prepared salads, chicken, hamburgers, and hotdogs are at risk of contamination. Fruits and vegetables should be refrigerated to prevent illnesses. Clean your food preparation areas with hot soapy water before and after contact with raw foods. Wash your hands under warm soapy water for 20 seconds before and after handling food.

Proper handwashing is about as long as singing the “Happy Birthday” song from beginning to end twice. Raw meat, and juice from raw meat, can contain harmful bacteria. Keep all raw meats and poultry separate from vegetables and cooked foods to prevent cross-contamination. Using different cutting boards and knives to prepare meats and vegetables can help prevent cross-contamination.

Proper cooking temperatures kill food-borne bacteria. Use a food thermometer to ensure your food has reached the appropriate temperature for cooking. Keeping hot food hot and cold food cold is vital for food safety. Keep hot food on the grill and place cold food in a cooler or ice bath to keep bacteria at bay. Never let perishable food sit out for more than two hours.

“A majority of injuries seen in our emergency department are preventable,” said Dr. Ramy Yakobi, the chair of Emergency Medicine at Saint Michael’s. “Wearing a seatbelt, staying vigilant around water, and wearing a helmet can make your Memorial Day weekend memorable in a good way.”

If for any reason emergency care is needed, we encourage you to call 911. Our ER team of skilled nurses and doctors is here to take care of you.

Though Saint Michael’s is located in the heart of bustling downtown Newark, the Emergency Department is conveniently accessed through a visitor driveway with on-site parking. A walk-in entrance provides added convenience for family members and visitors.

We understand that nobody likes going to the emergency room. But rest assured that when you visit the Emergency Department at Saint Michael’s, our compassionate medical staff will work to get you better, and faster.

All of us at Saint Michael’s wish you and yours a safe and enjoyable Memorial Day weekend.
For life-threatening emergencies, please call 911.