School is over and families nationwide are preparing for road trips, extended summer vacations, and activities to keep their children occupied during the summer months before school starts again in the fall. Schedules change, babysitters and day camps are utilized, and the summer spirit is one of freedom and exploration. Amidst the change in schedule and increase in road population also come a host of injuries, more prevalent in the summer than in other months. What are some of the major summer injuries, and what can be done to prevent them before it is too late?
Summertime injuries occur in the home, on the road, at vacation destinations and in the water. Here is a handful of some of the most common, and what can be done to prevent their occurrences:
- Drownings. Drownings occur in our own backyards and in oceans and lakes for various reasons. Always be sure your backyard (and the backyard of anyone you visit) has a fenced area around the pool to prevent little ones from entering that area. Avoid drinking and roughhousing around water. When in natural water, watch for boats and other water vehicles, stay closer to shore if there is a riptide alert, wear floatation devices, and make sure everyone knows CPR in the event of a boating accident.
- Traffic Accidents. With the increase of travelers on the road, it makes sense to avoid areas of high congestion during peak hours of travel. Explore alternate routes on holiday weekends to allow you to arrive to your destination injury-free, while exploring other parts of the road that you might not encounter while on the freeway. Travel at the appropriate rate of speed and always drive defensively, especially in a new city.
- Backyard Injuries. As safe as it may sound, our own homes and backyards are areas that yield injury among both adults and children. Unseen objects in the lawn can cause slips and falls, lacerations and other injuries. Lawnmower injuries continue to rank high among children, so always make sure kids are inside when lawnmowers or other heavy equipment is used. Falls from decks and stairs can cause injury among adults and children also. Keep high-traffic areas clear and free of objects.
- All-Terrain Vehicles. All-terrain vehicles, the ones equipped to handle sand dunes and hills, remain popular. Regardless of age, anyone operating an ATV should wear a helmet and be knowledgeable on the operation of the vehicle. Never allow children to operate one, and never allow children to ride on the back of one.
While summertime should be a happy time for most, it’s important to keep in mind that summertime is also a time for injuries. Keeping you and your family safe this summer will ensure happy vacation times for all.