Summer Safety Guide: Most Common Summer Injuries
The sun is out, birds are singing, barbeques are sizzling, and the children are running around with Slurpee’s… summer is here in full force! With the change in weather you may have noticed that everyone has come out of hibernation and is ready to take part in social events once more. Of course, with more people around it is only a matter of time before bumps, scrapes, burns. Broken bones, and tears show up at your doorstep. As much as we try to prevent these injuries with summer safety precautions and ‘play safe’ chats – life happens! It doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t go out and enjoy summer; it just means we should take some extra care to ensure we are prepared when accidents happen! Here is your summer safety guide to the most common summer injuries and how to help!
Scrapes, Scratches, and Cuts
If you have children in your life, you will most likely need to pull out the Band-Aids this summer. Learning to ride a bike, running on the pavement, and exploring new things often lead to scratches and scrapes. Even as an adult, we can miss-step, fall, or cut ourselves while building the latest home project. Having a first aid kit is a big step towards summer safety! Band-Aids, gauze, rubber gloves, and anti-septic wipes are all helpful in treating these wounds properly.
A good rule of thumb:
If a cut is 6.5mm in size (roughly the size of a piece of rice) or longer, has jagged edges, or gapes open, then you will probably need stitches.
If there is a large object inside the cut, head to an emergency room right away to receive proper medical attention.
When we are spending time in the sun we often forget the biggest summer safety rule – don’t overheat! Heat stroke occurs when we’ve spent too much time in the sun without protective clothing (hats, long sleeve light shirts, etc.) or have participated in vigorous exercise while in the heat. It can also occur when our bodies are dehydrated either from not drinking enough water or consuming alcohol.
The key symptoms and signs of heat stroke are:
- High body temperature (above 40 degrees Celsius)
- Hot and dry skin (no sweat)
- Disorientation or dizziness
- Increased breathing or heart rate
If you come across someone who has heat stroke, or think that you have it yourself, call 911 right away. While waiting for emergency services, give the individual water, remove restrictive clothing, get them out of the sun, and apply cold cloths or cooling packs to bring down their body temperature (without causing shivering).
BONUS TIP: Heat stroke and dehydration can happen to your pets as well! In fact – they get heatstroke much more quickly than kids. Keep your animals cool and hydrated! Offer them lots of water and shade, let them soak in a pool, use cooling pads, and NEVER leave your dog in the car. By doing this you will ensure that your dog stays safe!
Heart Attack and Cardiac Arrest
Because the summer months are filled with people going from place to place, your likelihood of coming across someone with a heart attack or cardiac arrest is higher. Knowing what to do if someone has one of these emergencies is crucial.
- Immediately, if you suspect someone is having a heart attack, call 911.
- Let the person sit down and try to keep them calm until help arrives.
- If the heart attack turns into cardiac arrest (in which case the person will become unconscious, collapse, and stop breathing), do you have an AED or know where the nearest AED is? Ask someone to grab it!
Keep an eye out for local AEDs this summer. Look for the signs and identify the places where an AED may be found. Unsure of where they are? Ask people working around you where you could find an AED should you need it.
Bonus: Once you’ve been directed to the nearest AED – help First Edition First Aid Training further public safety awareness! Join our #FindAnAED campaign and (1) snap a photo, (2) Check in on social media, (3) upload your photo (4) use the hashtag #AEDFound to alert the public where that AED is located!
Want to create a safer place for you, your family, or your workplace? Invest in a lifesaving AED so that you are always ready for any type of emergency. Let your neighbors, friends, and coworkers know the location of the device so that they can also call upon it in an emergency. We hope that you never have to use it, but if you do, the cost of a life is priceless. As they always say, ‘It is better to be safe than sorry!’
Are you the type of person who just cannot get a tan? Or perhaps you just lost track of time and forgot the sunscreen. Whatever the reason, sunburns are a common summer injury. Depending on the severity, sunburns can range from simple redness on the skin, to extremely painful burns that require immediate medical attention.
The best way to avoid this summer injury is to wear proper clothing and to add sunscreen to your summer safety kit!
Bring along your sunscreen wherever you go and always be sure to reapply after a few hours (especially if you are going in and out of the water). If you do suffer a minor sunburn, Aloe Vera gel can be a refreshing and calming way to soothe the skin and bring down the temperature of the burn.
One of the very scary, yet common summer accidents is drowning. People are out at the lake, enjoying the pool, and near the water for the hot months. Children and adults who do not know how to swim or get stuck in a strong current are at risk for drowning. Your summer safety guide would not be complete without being aware of the dangers and ensuring proper supervision. When children and family members are swimming, keep an eye on them. Have they been under the water too long? How far have they swum out? Provide floatation devices for those who are not strong swimmers.
If you come across someone drowning (and they are unconscious), CPR could save their life.
You need to get the water out of their lungs so they can breathe. Doing compressions and giving breaths (optional if no barrier devices is available), is the only way to save their life. It is a scary thought, but the more prepared you are, the higher the chances of survival are for everyone around you.
Not sure how to perform CPR? Afraid you are doing it wrong? Sign up for a First Aid course and get the training and practice you need to feel comfortable to jump into action if things take a turn for the worse.
Insect Stings and Bites
Wherever you live, bug bites and stings are a summer injury that many of us will incur. Bee stings, wasp bites, black flies, leeches… No matter what gets you, there’s always something to help relieve the pain. Ensure your first aid kit is well stocked with tweezers, anti-septic wipes, allergy medication, hydrocortisone cream, and calamine lotion.
Use this summer safety guide to be aware, be cautious, and be prepared this season! The more ready you are, the more comfortable you will feel when you head out to the beach, camping, mountains, or simply down the road for a cold drink.
Enjoy the sunshine and stay safe this summer!