Summer is a time for fun in the sun but it’s also a time when certain injuries and illnesses are more common. Lots of time is spent outdoors, playing sports, playing in the woods, and in the water. We thought this would be a good time to review some of the most common injuries and illnesses and how to identify and treat them.
- Drowning – Statistics say that for children under 5 years of age, drowning is the second leading cause of death. It is imperative to watch children closely when in or near a pool. Drowning causes rapid breathing, confusion, respiratory distress and of course, ultimately, death. If you suspect someone is in trouble and needs to be treated you should call 911 and stabilize the airway as quick as possible. If necessary the patient may be taken to the hospital and receive further treatment there.
- Dehydration and Heatstroke – Both of these conditions are very common during summer. Sometimes people do not realize they are getting dehydrated until it’s too late. Many people get caught up in things like playing, swimming, or hiking and do not drink enough water. This can result in dehydration or a heatstroke. Both of these conditions can cause mental confusion, fainting, increased thirst and weakness. Patients with mild symptoms should be treated with extra fluids, moved into a cool air conditioned space and use ice packs to cool down. If patients are showing severe symptoms, they should be taken to the emergency room.
- Sunburn – this is one of the most common injuries that people face in the summertime. Sunburn is most commonly caused by not regularly applying and reapplying sunscreen. It is critical to reapply sunscreen at least every 2 hours to avoid sunburn. It is also a good idea to stay out of the sun in the prime hours, when the sun is strongest, between 10:00am – 2:00pm. Wearing hats and sun glasses also helps protect sensitive facial skin and the eyes. Minor sunburns can be treated with aloe, lotions, and cold rags, as well as pain relievers. Severe sunburns can indicate a 2nd or 3rd degree burn that may need more aggressive treatment.
- Insect Stings and Bites – during the summertime bugs are much more prevalent. In parts of the country some bugs can transmit serious diseases. Additionally, bee, wasp, and other stings can be life threatening, especially to people who are allergic and or have been stung multiple times. If allergic to bee stings, a patient should be taken to the hospital to be treated immediately. If not allergic but there is pain associated with the sting, Benadryl can be taken along with pain relievers to alleviate the discomfort.
These are just a few of the illnesses and injuries that happen with greater frequency in the summertime. For physicians we know this means and increased work load, and in some cases increased liability. Many times summertime injuries can be some of the most severe and critical and necessitate quick or complex courses of treatment. Make sure that you have the medical professional liability coverage you need today, with a quick quote from eQuoteMD. And then, after we’ve saved you a little worrying and a lot of money, have a fun and safe summer!