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Summer fun may increase your risk of injury, but here are steps to enjoy the season more safely.

Summer is the perfect time to get outdoors and have some fun. There are loads of activities that can be enjoyed all season long, but whether you love to relax during the lazy days of summer or prefer to let that adrenaline soar, one thing you want to watch out for is avoiding injury. After all, it’s hard to have fun if you get hurt in the process.

You may be more at risk of being injured during the summertime simply because you’re more likely to be more active and engage in activities that carry some degree of risk. But with a few extra precautions, you can enjoy your summer without pain, injury, or a trip to the emergency room.

Here’s how to avoid these 5 common summer injuries:
  1. Weather-related injuries. You may love warm sunny days, but too much sun and heat can lead to injury or illness. One of the most common problems resulting from too much fun in the sun is sunburn, which can be painful. It can also lead to skin damage and may increase your risk of skin cancer so don’t forget to wear sunscreen. Dehydration is another common problem when you’re out in the sun and heat. Make sure to drink enough fluids and get out of the heat if you experience signs of heat-related illness, such as fatigue, muscle cramps, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, or confusion.
  2. Sports-related injuries. Although you may play sports all year round, summer is a time when adults and kids alike enjoy getting out on a field or court for some exercise, competition, or fun. It’s also a time when more people are prone to sports injuries, such as sprains, strains, dislocations, broken bones, and concussions. To make it less likely you’ll be injured, stretch and warm-up before you start. Wear proper protective gear and follow the rules of the game. Don’t overdo it if you are out of shape and be careful if field or weather conditions aren’t ideal.
  3. Swim-related injuries. Whether in a pool, lake, or ocean, jumping in a cool body of water can be one of the highlights of summer fun. But it can also be a source of serious injury. Never leave any child unattended if there is any body of water nearby, even a small kiddie pool. Don’t run on surfaces that may be wet and slippery. Avoid jumping or diving into the water if you don’t know the depth or what may be below the surface.
  4. Movement-related injuries. You’re more at risk of injury when you are moving faster than a normal walking pace. Being on something with wheels, such as a bike, rollerblades or a skateboard can up your risk of getting hurt. To prevent serious injury, wear a helmet, look out for obstacles in the road, and be aware of vehicular traffic around you.
  5. Play-related injuries. Running, playing and roughhousing can lead to scrapes, bruises, sprains, and other injuries. Supervise kids on a playground and teach them how to use equipment safely. Don’t allow the use of dangerous toys, such as items that can cause injury if thrown. Supervise play dates for young kids and set ground rules for older ones to make it less likely someone will get hurt.

“Summer is such a great opportunity for kids and families to take a break from the structure and stresses of the school year. A few precautions can help prevent the need to rehab an injury rather than recharge those mental and physical batteries.”

– D. Stephen Sanches, MD, FAAP, Pediatrician

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Date Last Reviewed: April 18, 2023

Editorial Review: Andrea Cohen, Editorial Director, Baldwin Publishing, Inc. Contact Editor

Medical Review: Perry Pitkow, MD

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