How to prevent summer’s most common injuries
From camping trips and hiking adventures to gardening projects and fun beach days, summer brings out our active side and encourages us to get out and play. Unfortunately, summer is also the season with the highest risk of injury with emergency rooms across the nation seeing an 18 percent jump in patients from May to August.
Whether you’re a weekend warrior, outdoor enthusiast, or vacationer, these tips will help you avoid summer’s most common injuries.
1) “Back-Breaking” Gardening
Gardening shouldn’t leave your back in ruins. Use good body mechanics the next time you’re out in the yard – bend your knees and use your legs when lifting bags of soil, trays of plants, and other heavy objects. You should also be using proper equipment. Sit on a stool to take the stress off your knees and back, try raised planters, use tools with long handles, and always wear gloves, long pants, closed-toed shoes, and protective eyewear when operating lawnmowers and other outdoor power equipment.
2) Running and Biking Injuries
Falls, sprains, knee pain – these are all possible if you run or bike outdoors often. Minimize risk by being aware of your surroundings and surveying the terrain before you start hiking or mountain biking. It’s also a good idea to check the weather before you head out. If you’re cycling, always wear a helmet that fits properly and replace it after a serious accident. And of course, remember to stretch before starting any sports or outdoor activities. Stretching helps prevent injuries by loosening your muscles, joints, and ligaments.
Not sure how to stretch properly? Our physiotherapists can teach you the right stretching exercises you need to do before and after any activity. Book a free, no-obligation consultation to learn more.
So you’ve stayed out in the sun too long and now you’re dealing with the painful consequences: blistering skin that’s the same shade as a ripe tomato. We’ve all been there and we know how bad sunburns are for your skin (they can cause premature aging and even skin cancer, yikes).
Luckily, it’s not hard to take better care of your skin. The next time you go outside, slather on sunscreen half an hour before you leave the house. Reapply every two hours as sweat and water can remove it. Don’t forget those often missed areas like your ears, feet, lips, and scalp. Wearing a hat, seeking shade, and avoiding the hottest times of day (10am-3pm) are also excellent sunburn prevention methods.
4) Watersport Accidents
Boating, jet skiing, kayaking, and swimming are all popular things to do this time of year. Although these activities are super fun, it’s important to keep in mind the potential dangers they bring such as fractures, head trauma, and drowning. Make sure to always wear a life jacket, don’t go out on the water alone, never dive in shallow water, and use hand signals to communicate when scuba diving or wakeboarding. Know your limits as well and don’t push yourself too hard if you’re trying some of these activities for the first time.
5) Dehydration and Heatstroke
Dehydration is serious and if not treated quickly, can lead to heatstroke. Lack of sweat is the first sign of heatstroke, followed by pale skin, dizziness, nausea, rapid breathing, and high body temperature. The good news is dehydration and heatstroke are easily preventable if you drink lots of water throughout the day (aim for at least eight glasses), stay in the shade often, and wear breathable, lightweight clothing.