Summertime is here and that means trips to the local pool, hiking with friends, and partaking in various sports activities during the weekends. Unfortunately, it also means putting ourselves at risk for injuries. Here are some of the most common injuries doctors see at the Emergency Room during the summer months.
Unsurprisingly, heat-related illnesses are some of the most common doctors encounter during the warmer summer months. When people become dehydrated or suffer from heatstroke, they can experience symptoms like nausea, dizziness, headaches, and confusion. While these illnesses are generally mild, they can become serious if not treated promptly. In order to prevent these problems, make sure that you are drinking plenty of water throughout the day (especially if you’re enjoying some adult beverages by the pool or at the beach). Also, make sure that you get out of the sun for a bit and sit in a shaded area to prevent over-exposure.
2. Swimming Injuries and Drowning
Spending time in the water is one of the joys of summer. Sadly, it also results in some of the most serious injuries doctors have to treat. And what’s even sadder is the fact that the majority of drowning deaths happen to young children. If you’re going to be around water and you have a young child, make sure you are always aware of the pool. Children can run off and be in the water in an instant. By constantly monitoring your child and the pool and ensuring that they are wearing the proper floatation devices, you can immediately respond if something goes wrong.
3. Food Poisoning
Hot summer days and barbecues are the perfect breeding ground for bacteria. This leads to a spike in food poisoning that is certainly not pleasant to deal with. When cooking outside, make sure that meat is cooked all the way through. An easy way to ensure that your meat is cooked to the proper temperature is to utilize a meat thermometer. If you’re going to leave food like fruits, veggies, or potato salad out, try to keep it as cool as possible (or at the very least, try to keep it out of the sun). And before eating the fruits of your grilling labor, make sure you wash your hands thoroughly.
4. Sports-Related Injuries
It’s no surprise that people injure themselves more in the summer months where various sports teams are more active outdoors. Many of us love to get out with our friends and shoot some hoops, play in a softball league, or just toss the football around for exercise. This leads to more sprained ankles, knee injuries, and other problems. Many sports injuries can be treated at home with the RICE method: rest, ice, compression, elevation. If a problem does not seem to be getting better or you worry that something may be broken, see a medical professional right away.
5. Insect Bites and Skin Irritation
Spending time outside means exposing yourself to a variety of insects and plants that can causes rashes. Most of these bites and rashes are relatively harmless, but some actually carry some serious diseases. Ticks and mosquitos are two insects you need to watch out for. Ticks can carry Lyme disease and mosquitoes might carry Zika. Therefore, it’s always a good practice to use bug spray if you’re going to be outside (especially if you’re around a body of water). If you worry about using bug sprays that contain DEET or other chemicals, certain essential oils can naturally keep these bugs away. As for plants, do your best to avoid poison ivy, poison oak, poison sumac, and other that can cause an allergic reaction. If you don’t know what it is, don’t touch it.