How to prevent BBQs, flip-flops and trampolines from ruining summertime playtime with unnecessary injuries.
Summer should be all about fun. But, according to the Center for Disease Control, more than 29 million people are treated in the ER for injuries every year, and summertime is by far the busiest hospital season. Almost half of all unintentional injury-related deaths in the United States among children ages 14 and younger occur during the three months of summer.
Here are some common (and sometimes surprising) injuries that often occur during summertime activities. Plus ways to avoid and treat them.
- Play safe. Always use a helmet whether on a bike, rollerblades, skateboard or a motorcycle. Make sure that trampolines are in good repair and has the proper equipment. If you have kids, get them in swimming lessons and equip them with appropriate life-saving devices while they are swimming (not to be used as a replacement for a sharp, watchful eye on your part!). As for you, don’t swim alone – always go to the beach or the pool accompanied by someone. Never mix boating or sailing with alcohol, and make sure that floatation devices are on board and used.
- Protect yourself at home. Every year, 30 to 50 children are treated for injuries caused by falls from windows. Window screens do not keep children from falling – they can be easily pushed out by the weight of an unsuspecting toddler. If you have kids, consider installing window guards or stops to prevent windows from opening more than four inches.Summer evenings are made better with wood fires. Make sure your fire pit is enclosed circle large enough so that it is obligatory to stay a safe distance from the fire. Teach kids that pits stay hot long after the fire goes out (and remember that advice yourself!). 8,200 home fires involve grills, hibachis or barbecues per year – remember, Grill Master, don’t toss kerosene or gasoline on your fire no matter how tempted you may be! When cooking, use long tongs and only grill in a well-ventilated area – and always have a fire extinguisher nearby.As for the lawnmower? Each year 80,000 Americans require hospital treatment for lawnmower accidents, the majority of which are caused when other things—such as rocks and sticks and random things that may have been left in your yard—are accidentally kicked up and thrown by the mower blades. Don’t let young kids mow the lawn, and teach them to not get close to the lawnmower when it is running. Lawn mowers are a major cause of foot and ankle amputations for children. Wear safety glasses and earplugs, don’t mow in bare feet or flip flops, and please don’t mow when there is not much daylight.
- Take care of your body. Use all natural sunscreens and keep applying them frequently (every couple of hours, more if you go in water). Some sunburns can even cause third degree burns - requiring medical attention! If your skin burned and is peeling, do NOT peel off the skin, no matter how strangely interesting the sensation may be :-) All you do is open up the window for infection. Stay fully hydrated, and try to do all tiring outdoor activities in the cooler parts of the day. Wear natural bug repellent in areas with insects, and when hiking, wear cool, loose clothing but that covers your arms and legs. Keep your face shaded at all times in the summer with a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses – the more direct sun you can keep off of you, the better. You decrease your risk of heat exhaustion and the harmful effects of certain UV rays.
Remember, summer is for relaxing and enjoying yourself. Take care of yourself and create great memories this summer with your loved ones! Of course, if you do need something more than first aid, the clinic at Root Whole Body has acupuncturists and chiropractors who will take very good care of your needs.