5 Simple Ways to Avoid Summer Injuries

Updated May 2024

Summer’s higher temperatures and long, sunny days mean more time outside and for most of us, a more active lifestyle. Unfortunately, summer fun can also bring a higher risk for injuries.

Stay safe with these simple ways to avoid some of summer’s most common injuries.


Tips for Avoiding Summer Injuries

Just add water

Dehydration can come quickly in high temperatures, so drink plenty of water throughout the day, starting before you go outside. You should also know the signs of dehydration – dry mouth, fatigue, muscle cramps and dizziness. If you experience any symptoms, drink clear fluids or sports drinks that contain electrolytes. Avoid soda and try to get out of the heat.


Get in gear

Avoid summer injuries by wearing the proper gear for your favorite summer activity. If swimming in a lake, consider wearing aqua shoes to protect your feet from rough bottoms. When riding in a boat, everyone should not only have a life vest available but should be wearing it in case of accidents. Wear a helmet when riding bikes, ATVs or motorcycles. And speaking of motorcycles, wear protective clothing as well. You shouldn’t be in shorts and flip-flops when riding a motorcycle.


Take the sting out

Bug bites and stings are extremely common during the summer months. To avoid getting stung, don’t use perfumes or colognes when outdoors. Use repellent during the times of day when mosquitoes and other biting insects are heaviest, such as early evening, and pay attention to labels to see which types are safe for children. Don’t walk barefoot through the grass. And, if you are allergic to bees or other insects, always bring your EpiPen or other medication and let others know that you’re allergic.

Ticks will likely be numerous this summer because of the mild winter. If you find a tick imbedded in the skin, do not agitate it further by picking at it, burning it, placing alcohol on it, etc. It should be pinched with fine forceps as close to the skin as possible, clamped and pulled straight up (away from the skin). Many pharmacies and sports stores have plastic tick removing forceps available. Dr. Faur advises that if you do not feel comfortable removing the tick yourself, to please call your doctor or get evaluated at an urgent care facility. Please seek medical attention promptly if the tick has been imbedded for more than a few hours, a rash around the bite occurs, or you get fever, headache, or other concerning symptoms. Most tick bites can be treated with one dose of antibiotic to prevent lime disease and other illnesses if they are promptly evaluated.


Swim safe

Water is such a big part of summer fun but swimming and diving safety should always be a consideration. Two of the most important rules are to never leave children unattended in or around water, whether it’s a large lake or small backyard kiddie pool. The second is always enter unfamiliar water feet first. Diving into shallow water can cause major injuries.


Screen yourself

Whether you’re golfing, swimming, gardening or any other outdoor summer activity, make sunscreen a priority. Sunburns can not only be painful, but deep burns can also lead to an increased risk of skin cancer later. Even if you think you’ll only be out in the sun for a limited time or if it’s cloudy, you still need to protect your skin. Use sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 to avoid burning and reapply throughout the day – especially if you’re in and out of the water. Make the most of the summer by following these tips to stay safe. If injuries do occur, call your doctor or go to the nearest emergency room or urgent care facility.


*Reviewed by: Lynn Faur, MD, Cameron Family Medicine – Fremont


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