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Play it safe, slow down, take care

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Health Minister Robin Swann has urged the public to do everything possible to avoid accidents throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Minister said the health service will be under “unimaginable pressures” in the weeks ahead and injuries from accidents may not receive normal levels of care.

“I very much welcome the fact that trauma doctors are advising the public to slow down and take care. They are promoting these very timely messages on social media.

“Taking care includes making sure you are safe while out taking your daily exercise. If walking or cycling, don’t be lulled into complacency by the quiet roads. And if you have to drive, fight any temptation to increase your speed because there’s no traffic around.

“Playing at home is obviously vital for children but injuries from the likes of trampolines are commonplace. Again, it’s about being ultra-careful and supervising children at all times.

“Likewise, DIY jobs that involve heights or potentially dangerous equipment should best be avoided until more normal times return.

The Minister added: “Our health service is going to be under unimaginable pressures in the coming days and weeks. There is no guarantee that normal levels of hospital care for fractures and other trauma injuries will be possible.”

Niall Eames, Belfast Trust Consultant in Trauma and Orthopaedic Surgery, said: “We will do our absolute best to look after everyone, but we may not be able to manage injuries as we normally do.

“We therefore must avoid any injuries where we possibly can.”

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