With the weather warming up and summer on the horizon, we tend to become more active as we enjoy outdoor fun. While making time to get outside is a summertime must, it’s equally important to be mindful of potential risks, as activity injuries are more widespread during the summer months. Learn how to prevent these six common activity injuries and stay out of the emergency room this season and beyond.
1. Water Injuries
Boating, swimming and water sports can quickly become dangerous. When children are around water, be sure there is a designated adult in charge of supervising at all times.
Here are some tips to stay safe around water:
- Avoid running near pools or on other wet surfaces
- Don’t dive in shallow water, or if you’re unsure of the water’s depth — diving accidents are a leading cause of spinal cord injuries
- Stay within arm’s reach of your children while in or near water
- Wear a life jacket when you’re in open water, especially if you’re not a strong swimmer
2. Playground Injuries
With school out for the season, occupying your littles might become a bit more difficult. While it’s wonderful to get them outdoors and keep them active, over 200,000 children require ER care each year due to playground-related injuries. Falls from playground equipment can result in fractures, sprains or even concussions.
Here are some tips to keep your kids safe on playgrounds:
- Active supervision is important — if you’re within arm’s reach, you may be able to prevent a fall or other injury
- Choose a playground built over a soft surface — avoid concrete and gravel, and instead opt for rubber or woodchips
- Ensure the equipment is age-appropriate — is your child ready for the monkey bars, or would another activity suit them better and be safer?
3. Overuse Injuries
If you or your child haven’t been very active throughout the colder months, try to ease back into certain activities like gardening, swimming and other sports to avoid common overuse injuries like strains, sprains and stress fractures in your elbows, knees and shoulders. Depending on the severity of your injury, you can expect the recovery time to be anywhere from a couple of weeks to even nine months or longer.
4. Trampoline Injuries
Approximately 100,000 children experience trampoline-related injuries yearly, including concussions and fractures. And while these injuries aren’t entirely avoidable if you choose to play on a trampoline, there are ways to minimize injury risk, including:
- Place a net around your trampoline — this greatly helps minimize the potential for falling off the trampoline, which can be especially dangerous for children
- Take turns — many trampoline injuries are due to a collision between two or more people; allowing only one person to jump at a time helps eliminate that risk
5. Cycling, Scootering and Skating Injuries
Whether on the sidewalk, at a skate park, mountain biking or even in your driveway, injuries from cycling, scootering and skating are all too common. Be proactive to prevent these injuries by staying alert of your surroundings and wearing protective gear — a helmet can prevent otherwise severe head injuries after a crash, and knee and elbow pads can also help minimize injury from falls.
6. Lawn Mower Injuries
Emergency departments see multiple lawn mower-related injuries each summer, most of which could be prevented. Many accidents happen due to a lack of awareness and improper use. For example, even though it may seem fun for them, children should never be allowed to operate or ride on a lawnmower, as they can suffer severe injuries from falling off. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that lawnmowers should only be used by people 16 years or older.
Care You Can Count On
While it’s always best to be proactive and practice preventive safety measures, not all injuries are avoidable. If you find yourself in need of care after a physical injury this summer, the orthopedic specialists at AdventHealth are prepared to help restore you to whole health.