Top 5 injuries and illnesses of the summer-two young girls are swimming with toys and sunglasses on

Top 5 injuries and illnesses of the summer

Summer is a time fun in the sun, but this fun is often associated with certain injuries and illnesses
May 31, 2019

Summer is on the horizon, and with it comes an increase in outdoor activities. From cookouts to pool parties, Americans will be taking advantage of warmer weather and longer days to relax and enjoy time with family and friends.

While families flock outdoors for fun, there is also a downside—injuries and visits to urgent care centers and emergency rooms tend to increase with the rising temperatures.

Top 5 injuries and illnesses of the summer - empty water bottles sitting on a black backdrop

Heat-related illness

One of the most common summertime illnesses is dehydration, which occurs when the body does not have enough water. It is also a condition that comes on quicker than most people think. When temperatures rise, the body loses more water, as individuals sweat more in an effort to stay cool. The easiest way to combat dehydration is to increase the amount of water you drink when spending time in the sun, especially when you are active.

Top 5 injuries and illnesses of the summer-drowning-a woman is swimming up to get air after diving in a pool

Swimming injuries/drowning

It’s hot and steamy in the summer. What better way to combat that than by a nice refreshing dip in the pool or a lake? While it may be the ideal summertime refresher, water-related injuries see a substantial increase during the summer months. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, drowning is the second-most common cause of death by unintentional injury, and children are more likely to drown in a swimming pool than anywhere else. Additionally, diving injuries are one of the leading causes of spinal cord injuries.

Top 5 injuries and illnesses of the summer-sunburn-a shirtless man with a lifesaver on his shoulder is sunburnt and looking over the ocean

Sunburns

We’ve all had a sunburn at one time or another. While it more than likely did not require a visit to the emergency room, many sunburns do. In 2013, there were nearly 34,000 emergency room visits in the United States related to serious sunburn, costing an estimated $11.2 million, according to reports in The American Medical Association’s journal Dermatology. When spending time in the sun, sunscreen is your best defense, and you should choose one with an SPF of 30 or higher.

Top 5 injuries and illnesses of the summer-biking-a man is riding a bike through the trees

Bicycling related injuries

While often relaxing and fun, summertime family bike rides can lead to severe injuries and trips to the emergency room. The most common are injuries to extremities—arm and wrist fractures—as well as head injuries. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 26,000 bicycle-related injuries involve children and adolescents with traumatic brain injuries that are treated in emergency departments. To help prevent head trauma, it is recommended that individuals wear a properly fitted helmet that is U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) certified.

Top 5 injuries and illnesses of the summer-bug bite-an close-up picture of a mosquito on skin

Bug bites

As much as we love summer, bugs love it just as much. Fleas, ticks and mosquitoes pose the biggest threat when it comes to those summertime bites. Mosquitoes can carry West Nile Virus as well as other diseases, while ticks can spread Lyme Disease. The best way to combat insect bites is by using repellents that contain 20 to 30 percent DEET, which helps repel insects. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends repellents with no more than 30 percent DEET on children.

— Tim Schnettler

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