The warm weather and longer days of summer will bring many Americans outdoors for BBQs, pool parties, and even road trips. While summertime involves plenty of opportunities for fun activities, there are also many chances to get hurt. From swimming pool and boating injuries to dehydration and sunburns, there is plenty of opportunity for injury.
The following are the seven most common injuries that happen during the hot summer months:
- Swimming injuries – Drowning is the second most common cause of death by unintentional injury—right behind car accidents—among children ages one to four years old, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Children are more likely to drown in a swimming pool compared to any place else, such as the ocean or a bathtub. So if you’re having a pool party, ensure an adult is supervising the children at all times.
- Watersport injuries – Boating, waterskiing, wakeboarding, and tubing are all popular watersport activities during the summertime. However, these activities are associated with many risks and potential dangers, such as head and neck injuries, as well as fractures and broken bones. Always wear a life vest when participating in watersport activities, and make sure to have a spotter watch the person in the water.
- BBQ injuries – U.S. fire departments respond to an average of 8,200 home fires involving barbecues, grills, or hibachis annually. Burns to skin and smoke inhalation are the most common injuries. Always use caution when lighting the grill and opening the cover. Always grill in a well-ventilated area and use long tongs to avoid burning your clothes and yourself.
- Biking injuries – Approximately 26,000 children and adolescents are treated in emergency departments every year for head injuries related to biking. Additionally, since many adult cyclists take advantage of the warm weather, more cases of car-bicycle accidents occur during the summer. Always wear a helmet every time you ride.
- Lawn mowing injuries – 80,000 Americans visit the hospital for lawnmower accidents every year. The majority of these accidents are caused by rocks, sticks, and other debris being accidentally picked up and projected by the mower blades. Whenever you mow, always wear protective equipment, such as pants, long sleeves, closed toed shoes, sunglasses, and hearing protection.
- Sunburn – Spending plenty of time outdoors can result in sunburn. If you fail to protect your skin, you risk skin damage that can result in premature aging and skin cancer. Protect yourself when you’re out in the sun by applying sunscreen 30 minutes before going outside and reapplying sunscreen every two hours. Also, wear a hat, cover your body, and always seek shade.
- Dehydration – Dehydration occurs when the body doesn’t have enough water and the first sign of a heat stroke is lack of sweat. Your body stops producing sweat when the cooling system in your body lacks the ability to cool down, which is why you need to drink plenty of water or fluids with electrolytes to prevent dehydration and heat stroke.