Nearly 38 million Americans take a trip to the emergency room every year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Emergency departments see the most patients during the summer months due to a number of safety risks and hazards, including extreme heat.
Prevention magazine identified a number of summer injuries to look out for, including:
Be mindful of burns and smoke inhalation when grilling out in the backyard or on the patio this summer. Nearly 9,000 fires per year are the result of grills or barbecues, according to the National Fire Protection Association. These fires cause an average of 10 deaths, 140 injuries, and $96 million in property damage every year.
Always grill in a well-ventilated area, and be cautious when lighting the grill or opening the cover. Using long tongs will minimize the risk of clothes catching on fire.
Minor burns can be treated by holding the skin under cool running water for up to 15 minutes (or until the pain subsides). More serious burns—especially those on the face, hands, or that take up a large part of the body—should be treated by a medical professional.
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Whether it’s a day at the beach, a weekend at the baseball field, or a day at the amusement park, nothing ruins a vacation like a sunburn. Sunscreens with broad spectrum UVA and UVB protection are the best way to protect your skin from the damage of sunburns, as well as minimize the risk of developing skin cancer from prolonged exposure.
When the weather is hot and humid, an uncomfortable and itchy heat rash can develop. Symptoms can include small blisters or deep, red lumps on the upper chest, thighs, or other areas of the body.
Heat rash can be prevented by staying indoors in extreme heat, wearing breathable clothing outside, and changing out of sweaty or wet clothes as soon as possible.
Working out, staying in the sun too long, or forgetting to drink water makes it hard for the body to replace the fluid at the speed it is lost. High temperatures combined with dehydration can spell trouble for the body, leading to sluggish brain function, heat exhaustion, or even stroke.
Drink water or electrolyte replacement solutions (like Gatorade) to stay hydrated in hot weather. During a workout, six to eight ounces of water every 15 minutes should be enough to stave off dehydration.
Swimming Pool Accidents
As temperatures climb, many parents opt for a day at the pool to have fun and cool off. But tragically, an average of ten people die every day from accidental drowning. One in five unintentional drownings are children under 15 years old.
It is crucial to keep a close eye on children at the pool to prevent swimming pool accidents. Especially on a busy day, ensure that children are drinking enough fluids, reapplying sunscreen regularly, and staying at a safe pool depth.
Amusement Park Accidents
Nearly 300 million people visit U.S. amusement parks every year, and the majority of those visitors come during the summer months. The Wall Street Journal estimates that over 27,000 amusement park visitors were injured in amusement park accidents in 2013.
The bustling crowds and excitement of amusement parks in the summer can lead to troubling lapses in safety, including lack of proper maintenance and inattentive ride attendants.
According to the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs, water slides account for 22 percent of injuries over the last five years, followed by go-karts at 8 percent, and roller coasters at 7 percent.