AKRON, Ohio, June 11, 2013 – With summer around the corner, families across Northeast Ohio are making plans for summer camp, road trips, gardening, barbeques and other seasonal activities. But before you and your kids embark on these summer adventures, it is important to be aware of common summer injuries.
“In addition to fun activities and warm weather, summer unfortunately also brings us a wide variety of sprains, strains, contusions, lacerations, fractures and bleeding injuries,” said Jonathan Kase, M.D., an orthopaedic surgeon with Crystal Clinic Orthopaedic Center, a partnership with Summa Health System. “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. RICE method tips include using an ace wrap to help with compression, and directing pressure to control the bleeding and minimize blood loss.
If someone suffers a painful injury associated with obvious swelling, bruising, deformity, excessive bleeding, or loss of function and RICE does not help, Dr. Kase advises that 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. Kase offers the following helpful 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. Especially stretch the hips, knees, thighs and calves, as cold muscles are more prone to injury.
- If you suffer a bleeding injury including a cut, scrape or puncture wound, make sure to thoroughly wash your hands with soap and warm water or use an antibacterial cleanser. Apply direct pressure to the injured area with a clean cloth, paper towel or piece of gauze to stop the bleeding. Clean the wound with cool water and mild soap, and gently dry the area; then apply an antibiotic ointment to reduce the risk for infection and cover the wound with a sterile bandage.
- 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 coming up, be aware that sparklers can cause severe burn injuries, and never hold any form of fireworks in your hand.
- Be mindful of barbeque grills, including the potential risk of fires and explosions from gas or propane and carbon monoxide poisoning caused by charcoal grills.
- 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.
About Crystal Clinic Orthopaedic Center
Crystal Clinic Orthopaedic Center (CCOC), a partnership between Summa Health System and Crystal Clinic physicians, is a major orthopaedic specialty hospital located in Northeast Ohio. CCOC serves patients throughout Ohio and contiguous states who are in need of care and treatment of conditions affecting the musculoskeletal system, including bones, joints, muscles, tendons, skin and related tissues. The board-certified surgeons have decades of experience and perform more than 12,000 orthopaedic procedures each year. The Joint Commission has also awarded CCOC with Disease-Specific Care Certification in total hip, total knee, total shoulder and spinal fusion procedures. For more information, visit www.crystalclinic.com.