With warm weather and long summer days, the risk for injuries skyrockets compared to the cold summer months. While the summer sun promises fun and pleasantries, injuries are a common occurrence. Here are the top seven summer injuries reported by doctors, and ways to prevent these injuries from ruining all the fun.
Swimming and Drowning Injuries
According to Joseph Perno, a Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital pediatric emergency medicine physician, the summer months bring a spike in drowning incidents. “When you have a lot of adults together, you’d think there would be more people watching the kids but what happens is people are distracted: Talking, drinking, partying, having fun, and no one is watching the kids.”
With children ages 1-4 years old, drowning is the second most common cause of unintentional death, only behind car accidents. Additionally, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention cites that children are more likely to drown in swimming pools than anywhere else.
Swimming and Drowning Prevention
Practice water safety by using proper floatation devices when out on large bodies of water, and make sure boats and other floating vessels have the appropriate emergency equipment.
According to David McKenzie, founding partner of McKenzie Law Firm, “Vigilance is critical when around bodies of water with children, especially when large quantities of people are there.” Consider rotating having a designated adult to supervise and look for children or adults in distress.
Heat often causes subtle signs of illness that, if not responded to appropriately, could develop into something more serious. Although heat is not a common cause of deaths, it is a contributing factor to multiple kinds of injuries and illnesses that affect thousands of people every year.
Heat-related Injury Prevention
The most vital part of avoiding heat-related injuries is to pay attention to the weather. Note the temperature and avoid being outside for long periods in extreme heat, especially during the hottest time of day. Stay hydrated, and always wear sunscreen.
Summer barbeques and picnics are fun and delicious, but leaving food out for an extended amount of time often makes individuals ill. Additionally, the summer months bring an abundance of fruits and vegetables, which can cause illness if not washed properly.
Food Poisoning Prevention
Be sure to store food properly and do not leave it out for long periods. Additionally, uncooked or undercooked meats served at barbeques can make individuals ill. Be sure that any meat served is thoroughly cooked, and that food has been stored properly and has not sat out in the heat for too long.
Additionally, be sure to thoroughly wash fruits and vegetables. Even those that are organic can contain harmful bacteria or other unhealthy substances.
Skin Issues and Insect Bites
It is common for individuals to wear clothing that exposes more skin in the summer months. More exposed skin can lead to an increased chance of minor injuries, such as scrapes and cuts, as well as insect bites. Although these are typically minor, even minor injuries left untreated can develop into more severe issues.
Skin Issues and Insect Bite Prevention
Always treat cuts and scrapes as soon as possible. Clean the affected area with whatever antibacterial agent is available, and keep the area clean with a bandage- especially if it could be exposed to dirt or grime. Similarly, insect bites should be kept clean and dry. Most insect bites are not dangerous and require no medical attention. However, other insect bites, such as spiders and ticks, require special care and treatment.
Cuts and scrapes can be avoided by wearing long pants and closed-toe shoes when hiking or doing other such activity that would leave skin prone to injury. Consider applying insect repellent to avoid being bitten by insects, and wearing long pants, closed-toe shoes, and long sleeves if hiking in areas where ticks are abundant.