AKRON, Ohio, June 20, 2012 – Summer is officially underway and several families are sending their children to camps, planning road trips to the beach and beautifying their gardens. Before you and your kids embark on summer adventures and activities, it is important to be aware of common summer injuries.
“Summer brings a wide variety of sprains, strains, contusions, lacerations, and fractures,” said Matthew Kay, M.D., an orthopaedic surgeon with Crystal Clinic Orthopaedic Center, a partnership with Summa Health System. “In the office, we often see rotator cuff tears in people pull-starting engines on outdoor equipment, and stress fractures in distance runners. The most commonly underappreciated and undertreated injuries that we see daily, however, are ankle sprains.”
For most injuries, the RICE method (Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation) can serve as an effective treatment to reduce swelling. Use an ace wrap to help with compression, and direct pressure to control bleeding and minimize blood loss.
If someone suffers a painful injury associated with obvious swelling, bruising, deformity or loss of function and RICE does not help, they should seek medical care. Children who refuse to walk on a leg or use an arm for more than 24 hours should also see a doctor.
Dr. Kay offers the following tips to enjoy a safe summer and reduce the risk of injury:
- Take your time and pace yourself on outside chores and physical activities by making sure you spend an adequate amount of time warming up before and stretching after activity. When stretching, push a joint as far as it will go, and then a bit further so it hurts a little. The force should be applied evenly and gradually, without “bouncing” the stretch.
- Maintain adequate hydration, and be aware of the signs of heat stroke and sun stroke.
- Always wear a helmet when on a bicycle, motorcycle or ATV to prevent head injuries, and make sure you have the appropriate size and fit of athletic gear when playing contact sports.
- Always wear a life vest when boating or riding a jet ski, especially children who have a higher risk of drowning.
- Wear insect repellent to decrease the risk of mosquito and tick borne diseases.
- With July 4th around the corner, be aware that sparklers can cause severe burn injuries, and never hold any form of fireworks in your hand.
- When taking a trip by car or camping, always have emergency supplies including a first aid kit; compass, map or GPS; flashlight and batteries; blanket; water and some type of food.
- When outdoors, be aware of any indigenous poisonous snakes, insects, or reptiles that you may encounter that you would not normally find around your home.
About Summa Health System
Summa Health System is one of the largest integrated healthcare delivery systems in Ohio. Encompassing a network of hospitals, community health centers, a health plan, a physician-hospital organization, a multi-specialty physician organization, research and multiple foundations, Summa is nationally renowned for excellence in patient care and for exceptional approaches to healthcare delivery. Summa's clinical services are consistently recognized by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (Magnet® status), U.S. News and World Report, Thomson Reuters and The Leapfrog Group. Summa also is a founding partner of the Austen BioInnovation Institute in Akron. For more information, visit www.summahealth.org or find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/summahealth and Twitter at www.twitter.com/summahealth.