Summer is officially here, and that means that the injuries that come with summertime’s favorite activities are starting to crop up, too. If you want to avoid them, sometimes all that is required is to remain vigilant.
“Summertime sees different injuries than the fall or winter months, but many can be avoided by being vigilant and practicing common sense,” says Neil Shouse, founding partner of Shouse California Law Group.
Below you’ll find a breakdown of the most common summertime injuries to watch out for and hopefully, avoid.
When the temperatures rise, it’s normal to want to cool off by jumping into some water. With so many people hitting the water, it’s no wonder that drowning incidents increase. In fact, according to the CDC, drowning is the second most common cause of unintentional injury causing death in children 1-4. Always make sure that children are supervised near water. Consider having several adults oversee water-related activities with children.
During summer, outdoor activities and chores often lead to illnesses associated with too much sun exposure. The two leading causes of visits to doctors’ offices and emergency departments are dehydration and heat stroke. Keep this from happening by making sure to stay hydrated and avoid being outside for prolonged periods of time, especially during the hottest time of day.
As children head out to the playground and out on their bikes, falls become much more common. Parents who want to reduce the risk of injury should look for playgrounds with a softer mulch or shredded tire surface. Also ensure children are wearing appropriate safety gear when riding bicycles, skateboards, and scooters. This will reduce the chance and the severity of any injuries due to a fall.
Food Poisoning and Gastroenteritis
Food-borne illnesses peak during the summer. Picnics and cookouts that often feature undercooked meat and dishes containing mayonnaise left out in the hot, humid temperatures all day are more common. Fruits and vegetables can also make you sick if not washed well before cooking. The best way to avoid food poisoning is to always wash your hands before you eat and don’t eat anything that’s undercooked or has been sitting in the sun too long.
Skin Irritations and Insect Bites/Stings
With outdoor activities ramping up, so are the chances of running into annoying mosquito bites and painful insect stings. Also, be on the lookout for encountering poisonous plants. Although for most people, these are just summer annoyances, people with allergies should be extra vigilant.
Sunburn is one of the most commonly seen summertime injuries. Although easily avoided by wearing and reapplying sunscreen, many people do not take this preventative step. This can lead to melanoma in later life as well as other skin cancers. To minimize the risk of sunburn, apply sunscreen every two hours and make sure to avoid the sun at its hottest, which is between 10 AM and 2 PM.