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4 Pranks that Could Land You in Urgent Care

Mar 31, 2024

Pranks have been a timeless source of amusement, creating moments of laughter and camaraderie among friends. However, not all pranks are created equal, and some can swiftly transform a light-hearted joke into a serious medical emergency. To help prepare you for a safe April Fools’ Day, here are four seemingly innocent tricks that have the potential to land you in urgent care. 

1. The slippery slope: Banana peel edition

Pranks involving slippery substances may seem harmless, but they can quickly turn dangerous. Tossing banana peels on the floor might work in cartoons, but in real life it's a recipe for disaster. 

“The impact of a fall on a hard surface can result in fractures, dislocations and even concussions,” said Richard Hendrix, M.D., Urgent Care physician at Inspira. “It's not just momentary embarrassment; it's a potential trip to the emergency room with real and lasting consequences.”

2. The exploding balloon bonanza

While the idea of a balloon popping might evoke laughter, the aftermath can be far from amusing. Balloons filled with unexpected substances like water, flour or even confetti can cause serious eye injuries, from scratches to more severe conditions like corneal abrasions. Also, inhaling fine particles released during balloon explosions can lead to respiratory problems, especially for individuals with preexisting conditions like asthma.

3. The jumpscare

Videos of people jumping out of hiding places to startle unsuspecting friends and family go viral on social media every day, but the result can be dire depending on your audience. Jumpscares can trigger a fight-or-flight response, leading to increased heart rate and potential injuries. Those with underlying health conditions, such as heart problems or anxiety disorders, are particularly vulnerable to emergencies like heart attacks and panic attacks. What might be a joke to one person can be a health risk to another.

4. The surprise electrical shock 

Electrical pranks may be shocking in more ways than one. Rigging common household items with electric shock devices can lead to unexpected injuries and, in some cases, serious health risks. “We've seen patients with burns, muscle spasms and even cardiac issues as a result of these pranks,” said Dr. Hendrix. “Playing with electricity is no joke, and individuals attempting such stunts may find themselves facing severe consequences, including a trip to the emergency room for immediate medical attention.”

Always approach pranks with caution and empathy. What may seem like innocent fun can quickly escalate into a trip to urgent care or even more severe consequences. “Before engaging in pranks, consider the risks and the health of those involved,” said Dr. Hendrix. “It's crucial to strike a balance between humor and safety to ensure everyone can enjoy a good laugh without compromising their well-being.”

Inspira Urgent Care offers exceptional care when and where you need it most—close to home and at your convenience. Learn more about Inspira Urgent Care.

Topics: Primary Care, Urgent Care