Summer is here, all systems are go, and we’re moving forward with fun – full speed ahead.
Before getting too carried away, though (and we know it’s hard not to), take a moment to take stock in a few safety precautions that can help you and your family prevent summer injuries.
When Working (and Playing) Outdoors
- Stay hydrated: Drinking plenty of water is perhaps the number 1 rule to stay safe and prevent summer injuries. Dehydration can be deceptive – and debilitating. Start drinking water before you head out for the day and take periodic hydration breaks (six to eight glasses per day is the recommended norm, and more will be needed in the sweltering heat).
- Trim the grass, not your digits: Keep your hands, feet, fingers, and toes away from the mower blades at all times, and never ever inspect a mower when it is operational.
- Fling those flip-flops: Sure, they’re great for the shore and the pool, but for everyday activity – particularly when you’re working – wear sneakers or casual shoes.
- Grab the appropriate gear: Sports, anyone? Play ball, go biking, go hiking, go climbing, and more – just make certain you’ve got quality tools AND attire. Some things to consider:
- Wrist and knee guards
- Life preservers/vests
- Eye protection
- Ear plugs
When at the Playground
Knicks, cuts, scrapes, and bruises are par for the course when kids are running full throttle at the playground. But serious injuries can be avoided by taking a few important steps:
- Take a stand against rickety play equipment: Steer clear of playgrounds built on concrete surfaces or gravel. Most contemporary playgrounds are equipped with mulch or soft rubber chips.
- Don’t stray: Stay within arms’ reach of your child at all times when at the playground – and you’re more likely to prevent a fall.
- Jump smart: Establish a one-at-a-time rule for trampolines and attach a net around the perimeter to minimize the risk of falls.
According to the CDC, drowning remains the second most common cause of unintentional fatalities for children between the ages of 1 and 4. And even the best swimmers are susceptible to water-related hazards and injuries.
- Keep a close eye on the kids: Adult supervision is the first line of defense and the best way to prevent summer injuries at the pool.
- Look before you leap! If you don’t know the depth of the pool, the pond, or any other body of water – don’t take that dive.
When Catching Some Rays
Getting a great tan is a summertime tradition for many beachgoers. Still, the intensity of the sun is nothing to be messed with. Its rays can cause extreme and long-lasting damage, even on what appears to be a cloudy day. Take the necessary sun safety precautions to prevent summer injuries:
- Cover up: Use broad-spectrum sunscreen with a SPF of at least 30 and reapply every couple of hours. When not swimming, Wear comfortable clothing that breathes while protecting your skin from exposure.
- Plan your day: Avoid extended periods outdoors between the hours of 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. when the sun’s rays are at their most intense.
When You’ve Been Bitten or Stung
Outdoor activity places you at higher risk for bites and stings from common – and uncommon – creatures and insects. When in forested areas and high grass, be sure to wear comfortable, protective clothing with long sleeves and pants. And keep the following in mind:
- Banish the bloodsuckers. Use an insect repellant that is safe for children to ward off mosquitoes, which can carry disease.
- Bee sting? Remove the stinger as soon as you can, using a credit card or any firm edge – or tweezers if you have them. Wash the area with soap and water and apply a cold compress, when possible. Ibuprofen and/or Tylenol for the pain. Benadryl or an OTC antihistamine can quell any itching.
Occasionally, even when you’ve taken every precaution to prevent summer injuries, accidents can happen. If you have sustained and injury or are questioning whether you need medical attention, don’t delay. Quality First Urgent Care offers treatment for a wide range of medical services, from minor cuts and scrapes to breaks and fractures and beyond. We are here if and when you need us this summer. Call us at 301-421-1214 or schedule a telemedicine appointment today!