Summer is a fantastic time to take a family vacation, enjoy time by the pool, or spend quality time with some good friends. While making time for exciting adventures is an absolute must, it’s equally important to be aware of some of the most common causes of summertime injuries. By being able to anticipate and avoid risky scenarios, you keep yourself and your loved ones safe and reduce the chances of experiencing an unwanted hospital visit.
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According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 4,000 people lose their lives in drowning incidents every year. Drowning is estimated to be the leading cause of death for children between the ages of 1 and 4, but even adults that are competent swimmers can suffer a fatal accident. When you or your family are around water, keep the following safety tips in mind:
- Do not run on a pool deck or other wet, slippery surfaces.
- If you are at a pool, lake, ocean, or other body of water with children, stay close to them at all times. Never allow a child to play in or near the water unsupervised for any amount of time, even if you just need to run to the restroom quickly.
- Never dive headfirst into the water if you are unsure how deep it is. The American Red Cross recommends diving into water headfirst only if it is at least nine feet deep. If you strike the bottom of a pool, a rock, or another object, you could suffer a serious brain or spinal cord injury.
- Wear a lifejacket when on open water. Even if you are on a boat, a lifejacket can save your life if you fall off.
If you own a pool, be sure that it is properly fenced off to prevent people, especially children, from accessing it while you aren’t around. Taking steps to protect others from accidentally suffering harm on your property can be crucial in protecting yourself from a future personal injury lawsuit.
If you have children, you’re almost certainly familiar with your neighborhood playground. Taking your children out to play keeps them active and offers great opportunities for them to bond with other kids at the same time. However, playground equipment can cause harm, particularly if it is old or not properly maintained. When visiting the playground this summer, make sure to:
- Stay close to your children. By all means, give them plenty of room to play and have fun, but remain close enough to intervene if they lose their balance or need help.
- Go to a playground with a soft surface. Many injuries occur when kids fall on concrete or gravel, which can cause painful cuts and scrapes or even more serious injuries. If you can, go to a playground with a softer landing pad of rubber or wood chips.
- Make sure your child is playing safely. Some activities require more coordination and strength than others. Help your child select a suitable activity for their age and size.
Believe it or not, trampolines cause a considerable number of annual injuries, particularly during the summer months when they are most frequently used. In some cases, trampoline users have even suffered broken bones or concussions. There isn’t really any way to completely eliminate the risk of injury while using a trampoline, as one wrong jump or landing can cause harm. However, there are certainly ways to reduce the risk of a serious injury occurring.
Make sure your trampoline has a net to prevent jumpers from falling onto the hard ground. You should also make sure to limit the number of people on the trampoline at any one time. Too many people jumping at once increases the risk of collisions or people getting thrown higher than they are comfortable with.
Lots of people enjoy going for a nice, relaxing bike ride during the summer months. Unfortunately, falling off your bike or getting into an accident can cause serious or even life-changing injuries. If you decide to go for a bike ride or break out your skateboard, be sure to stay aware of your surroundings. Even if it’s not legally required in your state, it’s always a good idea to wear a helmet as well. A helmet can prevent serious head injuries if you fall or are struck.
Lawnmowers cause an estimated 85,000 annual injuries in the U.S., including approximately 70 fatalities. More than twice as many people in the country are killed by lawnmowers than by lightning! While summer may be the perfect time to get your lawn under control, be sure to do so safely. Many of the victims of lawnmower accidents are young children or teens attempting to earn some summer money. Improper use and inexperience are among the leading causes of incidents, so it’s important to have an adult in charge of operating the lawnmower.
We hope that this article helps you and your family enjoy a fun, safe summer full of adventures! When in doubt, be sure to adhere to the side of caution so you don’t spoil a summer day with a trip to the local urgent care.