Summer is a time of fun in the sun and outdoor activities. But if you aren’t careful there are some injuries that are more common to summer days. Here are some of the most common summer injuries and what you can do to keep you and your family safe and healthy.
Some of the most common summer injuries occur because of heat. It’s no surprise that summer days come with lots of sun and warm temperatures, in fact, that’s generally what makes for a good summer day. But unless you take the right precautions to keep you and your loved ones safe, that summer heat can be detrimental to your health.
One of the most common summer injuries is heatstroke. Heatstroke happens when your body overheats due to prolonged exposure to the sun and high temperatures. Once your internal body temperature rises above 140 degrees Fahrenheit (40 degrees Celsius) you could notice symptoms such as:
- Slurred speech
- Skin hot to the touch and dry
- Nausea and vomiting
- Rapid breathing
- Racing heart
If you or a loved one starts to notice these symptoms, call 911 immediately. Move the person experiencing heatstroke to a shaded area and cool them off however you can. Remove their clothing, douse them with cool water, even place them in water if possible. Continue to monitor them to make sure their symptoms don’t get worse.
There are a few steps you can take to prevent you or your loved ones from experiencing heat stroke:
- Wear loose-fitting and light-colored clothing on warm days, especially when you’ll be spending time outside or will be performing vigorous activities
- Make sure to stay hydrated with water or electrolyte drinks
- Never leave anyone in a car on a hot day
- Avoid strenuous activities, such as hiking or playing sports, during the hottest parts of the day
One of the most common summer activities includes spending time in and around water. It’s a great way to cool off on a warm day. But while water sports are among the most common summer activities they also cause some of the most common summer injuries. Unless you take the time to be safe and make sure your loved ones are also safe, water can be extremely dangerous.
Whether it’s in a backyard pool, playing in the waves at the beach, or riding on a boat on the lake, there are universal water safety tips that you and your loved ones should always follow to make sure you’re safe and having a good time:
- The first may seem obvious but is also one of the most important; don’t go in the water if you don’t know how to swim. Even when wearing a life jacket or a flotation device, if you haven’t received swimming lessons or are not a strong swimmer, do not enter the water.
- Never swim alone, even during the day. Make sure you’ve always got a buddy with you who is also a strong swimmer.
- Recognize that different bodies of water have different elements. You might be able to handle yourself in a pool, but swimming in the ocean where there are strong currents and undertows could be dangerous.
- Always wear a life jacket when you’re on a boat. Even if it’s just a fishing boat and you don’t intend to get in the water or will be driving at a slow speed, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
- Never consume alcohol if you also intend on swimming or getting in the water. According to kidshealth.org, alcohol accounts for almost half of all male young adult drownings.
Summer storms can cause some of the most common summer injuries. Whether it’s heavy rains that cause flooding, lightning storms that cause trees and large branches to fall on homes, or hail storms, there are certain preparations you can make to keep your family and your possessions safe.
One of the first things you can do to prepare for any summer storms you may encounter is to build a storm shelter. The necessity of building this shelter depends greatly on the types of storms you have in your area. For example, if you live in an area where tornadoes are more likely, a storm shelter is a great option. If you live in an area where flooding occurs more commonly, a storm shelter is not the best choice. Of course, this option is completely dependent on your situation, but if you face summer storms like tornados or hurricanes, you may consider it.
If you live near the ocean, you may consider seawall maintenance to protect your property from the rise and fall of the water, especially with heavy rainfall and flooding. Seawall maintenance will help to protect the foundation of your home and potentially the entire first floor of your home from flooding and water damage. It could also keep your family and any pets you have away from situations where drowning could occur when the water rises especially quickly.
Among the most common summer injuries are those that come from pests. Any injuries from insects to certain plants can cause irritations, stings, and burns that range from a minor irritant to potentially life-threatening. Summer is the time where you may really start to consider a form of pest control for your home.
Wasps and bees are more common during spring and summer. It’s time for these insects to be more active and as you’ll likely be spending more time outside, you have a higher chance of encountering them. If you notice any nests being built on your house or in trees on your property, contact a specialist for wasp nest removal immediately. The sooner you can handle the situation, the less dangerous the situation.
Another dangerous pest activity is a swarm of bees. This is a strange sight to see and is not too common, but can be very dangerous, especially if you aren’t wearing protective clothing or have any sort of bee allergy. A bee swarm occurs when a bee colony gets too large for its nest and separates into two to try and build a new colony. A large group of bees will cling together and swarm around a tree, in roof rafters, and many other places as they try to find a new home. If you come across a swarm of bees, the best thing to do is call a beekeeper or animal control to remove the swarm. It is a fairly easy task for an experienced beekeeper. Remember to never try to remove the swarm yourself. While one or two bee stings would be uncomfortable, a whole swarm of bees attacking you could be fatal.
Another of the most common summer injuries comes from an encounter with poison ivy. Poison ivy is a type of flowering, vining plant that grows in most states, except for Alaska and Hawaii. Around 85% of people are allergic to it, so it’s better to avoid it than risk finding out if you’re one of the lucky 15%. If the plant comes in contact with any part of your skin, it will cause redness, swelling, itchiness, and sometimes even blisters. It can take a few weeks for the skin to heal on its own, or you can visit a doctor for poison ivy treatment. While the treatment likely won’t have immediate results, it will help to soothe the skin. There are a few other home treatments to help ease the discomfort that you can try:
- Oatmeal baths
- Cold compress
- Calamine lotion
- Rubbing alcohol
With so many new opportunities for time outdoors and new activities, it’s no surprise that some of the most common summer injuries are falls and injuries associated with that.
A fall for someone young may not be a big deal. They can easily jump back up and keep going. Even a scraped knee won’t stop them. But a fall for an adult can cause more than just external scrapes and cuts. It can cause back alignment issues, joint pain, and more. While you can’t keep yourself from ever falling again, being aware of your surroundings and careful when the ground is unsteady can help you avoid a fall. You may consider getting asphalt repair done around your home to fill any cracks and keep you from tripping and falling.
A fall while you’re walking along the fairly level ground may be uncomfortable but doesn’t usually result in very serious issues unless you also sustain a head injury. However, with kids spending more time outside and being more adventurous, more serious falls can occur from heights that can cause lots of damage. Make sure to teach your children about being safe and careful while they play outside and to avoid jumping from or climbing up to large heights. Regardless, it’s a good idea to know where the closest urgent care center is to your home in case you or your child needs to get stitches after a bad fall.
One of the most common summer injuries comes from allergy or asthma-related issues.
As previously discussed with pests, any allergies to bees or other insects become much more dangerous during summer as these pests are more prevalent. It’s important to always carry an EpiPen or other medication that can help you from going into anaphylactic shock before you can get emergency care.
Allergies to pollen are also a much bigger concern during spring and summer. Not only are they carried in the air, but they can also be on fresh produce at farmers’ markets or at the grocery store. This is another reason why it’s so important to clean your produce when you bring it home.
Some of the most common symptoms you’ll experience with allergies are:
- Runny nose
- Itchy, watery eyes
- Black eyes
- Lines across your nose
- Inability to breath through your nose/mouth breathing
Even if you’ve never had allergies before, you can suddenly develop them at any age and any time of the year, so it’s better to be prepared than caught off guard. One way you can help lessen the symptoms and effects of allergies in your home is to invest in some high-quality air purifiers. Having an air purifier running in your home can remove pollen, mold, and other contaminants and help you and your family breathe better, both literally and figuratively.
There are a lot of potentials hazards that come along with the summer season. While you won’t be able to avoid every mishap for you or your family, you can surely prepare to handle situations when they happen. And with so many of the most common summer injuries requiring emergency visits or care, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Find the closest emergency care centers to you so if you need to visit one, you don’t have to spend any time searching for their location. Make sure your health insurance is up to date so you’ll know that you won’t have to pay out of pocket for doctor visits. If you have Medicare, make sure you know which doctor visits your Medicare coverage will pay for. The last thing you want is to be surprised with a bill you didn’t expect after an emergency visit.
Summer should be a time of fun and enjoyment with family and loved ones. If you prepare ahead of time from the most common summer injuries, you’ll be able to keep you and your family safe and enjoying your time in the sun this summer.