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Four Most Common Injuries in the Summer

Warmer weather and longer days mean more time participating in outdoor activities like hiking, cycling and swimming. But it also means a higher risk of injury. Certain activities can lead to some of the most common summer injuries like sunburns, fractures, car accidents and heat-related illnesses.

Most common summer injuries

Here are four common summertime injuries:

1. Burns

Too much time in the sun doesn’t just put you at risk for dehydration; it can also result in severe sunburns without reapplying sunscreen as recommended throughout the day. Outdoor barbeques, camping trips and other occasions where people gather around an open flame are other ways to get burned as well.

If you or someone you know suffers a mild to moderate skin burn, hold the affected area under cool running water or apply a cool compress for about 20 minutes or until the pain has lessened. After that, apply an antibiotic ointment and wrap the area loosely with a bandage. Minor burns should heal on their own within a few weeks. Moderate to severe burns, however, should be treated by a healthcare professional or urgent care center as soon as possible.

2. Fractures

Anytime we participate in increased physical activity like soccer, softball, basketball, cycling and swimming, we increase our risk of slipping, tripping and falling. Accidents like this often lead to a sprain, strain or fracture that requires medical treatment. The good news is that regular stretching before and after physical activity helps keep muscles long, lean and flexible, which can lower your risk of knee and ankle injuries.

3. Car accidents

Summer months mean more time relaxing with family and taking family road trips. Heat can also impact the health of your car, which can put you in a dangerous situation. Before hitting the road, prepare your car so it can get you there and back home safely.  In addition to making sure your car is working well, don’t forget to pack an emergency kit, extra water and snacks to avoid things like dehydration. It’s also important to eliminate distractions while driving, especially on unfamiliar roads. So, buckle up, put away your smartphone, put down your food, keep conversation to a minimum and have a safe trip.

4. Heat-related illnesses

Pay attention to your body in the summer heat and watch for signs of heat exhaustion and dehydration like fatigue, muscle cramping, headache, nausea, vomiting, dizziness or fainting. Avoid these common heat-related illnesses be sure to stay well-hydrated and avoid being outside during the hottest times of day (estimated to be around 3 p.m.).

Tips to avoid the most common summer injuries

It’s important to take a few precautions before heading out for a pick-up game at the park or an impromptu flag football challenge at your next barbeque. Tips for avoiding the most common summertime injuries include:

  • Always, always, always bring water
    Children and seniors are more susceptible to dehydration, so it’s important to always keep water nearby. If left untreated, dehydration can lead to more serious ailments like heat stroke, which requires urgent medical care.
  • Avoid peak sun hours
    Staying indoors during peak daylight hours is the best way to avoid sunburn. If you must be outdoors between the hours of 3-5 p.m., be sure to apply and reapply sunscreen as directed on the label.
  • Never leave children unsupervised near water
    The second-most common cause of death in children is drowning. Children love to run and play around the pool, lake or ocean, which increases their risk of tripping, slipping or falling onto concrete or into the water. If you’re planning a fun day of water play, be sure to keep both eyes on your children at all times to avoid sprains, strains, fractures or worse.
  • Use proper protective gear
    Whether you’re playing football, soccer or cycling on the boardwalk, be sure to wear the right protective equipment. It’s important to inspect helmets, shin guards and shoulder pads to be sure they do not have any cracks, breaks or signs of significant wear and tear.

If you or a loved one has suffered a sprain, strain or fracture and are unable to walk or move the affected limb, visit Coastal Urgent Care of Gonzales for a thorough examination, x-ray, diagnosis and treatment. Walk-ins welcome Mon-Fri 9 a.m. – 8 p.m., Sat-Sun 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.