LifeCare Health Partners and its family of hospitals hope you have been enjoying a safe summer so far. Summer is a season of fun and sun mixed with vacations and frivolity. However, it doesn’t come without some “boo boos.” Injuries happen all the time and summer is no exception. Physicians everywhere can attest to the number of injuries they see and treat during summer months. It seems that we all have more time to get things done or have some fun, but with that means more time to have accidents. With Labor Day just around the corner, there is still time to play before it gives way to the fall and the hustle and bustle of back to school. So let’s take a look at the most common injuries that occur during the summer months.
D-I-Y Oh My!
It’s time to wrap up work on those Do-It-Yourself projects around the house and yard. But be careful! So many injuries happen at home, from lawn mowing mishaps to falling off ladders to power tool ordeals. Many of these injuries can be avoided with preparation, caution and patience. In many cases like these, being patient keeps you from becoming a patient.
Outside and Active
This one is quite a broad topic. There are so many options during the summer to stay active and have some fun. Team sports, individual sports, outdoor activities and adventures all can pose hazards and cause injury. Baseball, soccer, tennis, skateboarding, camping and hiking all have their pitfalls for injuries. Doctors see a lot of visits from these activities. Just be careful out there!
Gosh It’s Hot
During the hot summer months, many visits to the doctor are due to heat-related conditions. Sun exposure can cause many ill effects from the heat, including headaches, nausea, dizziness and even confusion. Heat exhaustion is very common, but in extreme cases can lead to heat stroke which must be treated quickly. Use common sense when you know you will be outdoors for any stretch of time. Staying hydrated is vital when dealing with the heat, and also avoiding exposure to the direct sunlight for too long. These two simple tips can go a long way in preventing a trip to the hospital.
Rivers, lakes and pools are popular spots in the summer for a refreshing getaway and fun times. Injuries lurk near water too. Swimming accidents and diving injuries are the most common sights in doctors’ offices. Head trauma can occur from impact with diving boards or pool structures. Possible broken bones or worse can result from diving into water that is shallower than expected with potential rocky perils beneath the surface. Child safety is also a high priority at swimming pools, as well. According to the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention, drowning is the second most common cause of death by unintentional injury among children ages one to four years old. Supervision is so important to help prevent injuries and drowning.
With so many outdoor activities, from sports to hiking to camping, pesky bug bites are hard to avoid. Bites and other skin maladies are commonplace in the summer when bugs are at their peak. Clinics see many patients with itches, scratches and more from bugs, plants, scrapes, and wild animal contact, as well as other outdoor irritants like allergies.
Feel the Burn
Sunburns are a very common pain during summer. Too much sun exposure, not enough sunblock, or not wearing a protective hat or umbrella for coverage, can all lead to various levels of sunburn. Extreme cases can be very dangerous to the skin. Doctors see this type of summer injury far too often. It can be prevented with some good common sense preparation before heading outdoors. Using sunblock with a high SPF and avoiding those peak hours when the UV rays are strongest (11 am- 4 pm), are both ways to help avoid severe sunburns and a trip to the doctor.
The number of food borne illnesses increase in the summer months, when many are cooking out and picnicking in the warm weather. But hot and humid conditions create an optimal bacteria hotbed, and can rapidly increase the chances of food related sickness, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Sometimes food may not be cooked fully or possibly left out in the heat and that can be a health issue. Just make sure fruits and vegetables are washed thoroughly and that no foods are exposed to sun and heat for very long before they are refrigerated again. Eat well and be safe.
Take a Ride
Summertime brings out the fun recreational vehicles and the perils that come with them. From scooters to motorcycles to jet skis and boats, all of these outdoor toys can be the cause of severe injuries that doctors see all too often this time of year. Proper use and safety awareness is a must. Accidents do happen, but preventive safety can limit the severity and the number of injuries.
Cheers to Safety
Alcohol is a leading cause of many accidents and injuries any time of year, but summertime brings parties and get-togethers at lakes, pools and parks; when inhibitions and judgment can get altered. All of the aforementioned injuries can be multiplied when alcohol is thrown into the mix. Extra care and caution must be used to prevent accidents and injuries. The fun doesn’t have to stop, but some common sense needs to be involved.
Whatever you do for the rest of the summer and for Labor Day weekend, just remember to take precaution, think preventively and simply—be safe. Keep your physician’s info on hand just in case of an emergency while you are out having your summer fun.
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