We tend to be more active in during the summer, which can mean falling off bikes and attending barbecues where food has not been refrigerated. According to Advocate, the top five problems seen in ERs on these long days are:
- Sunburns and heat-related illnesses, ranging from mild dehydration to severe heatstroke and sun poisoning. Make sure to hydrate and lather on the sunscreen!
- Swimming and water-related injuries, a frequent issue for children but problematic for adults as well when alcohol is involved. Keep an eye on your kids, heed posted beach advisories, swim only with a lifeguard on duty and always wear a life vest on boats and other watercraft.
- Cuts and burns, which increase during a season of campfires, grilling and chopping veggies for kebabs. Then of course there’s the Independence Day fireworks—stay safe!
- Food poisoning and other food-related illnesses from letting food sit out too long or neglecting washing hands frequently when handling raw meats and when going from food prep to eating.
- Insect bites and skin irritations, which covers everything from tick bites, which can cause Lyme Disease, to bee stings to poison ivy, oak and sumac. Wear protective clothing for your hikes in the woods.
“Be extra mindful of your surroundings in the summer months,” advises Dr. Deshon Moore, a physician of emergency medicine at Advocate South Suburban Hospital in Hazel Crest, Illinois. “Be sure to wear extra SPF with zinc on exposed skin. Accidents happen to everyone. Don’t wait to contact your physician if you sense something is wrong.”
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