Summer is a time for fun, relaxation, and outdoor activities. However, it's also a peak time for emergency room (ER) visits. Despite the sunny weather and seemingly harmless activities, certain risks can lead to unexpected trips to the emergency room. Let's explore the most common reasons for summer emergency room visits.
1. Heat-Related Illnesses
As temperatures rise it becomes more and more tempting to spend time outdoors and under the rays of the sun. However, this also increases your risk of heat-related illnesses. These illnesses include heat stroke, heat exhaustion, and dehydration. Heat stroke is a severe condition that requires immediate medical attention. Symptoms include high body temperature, altered mental state, alteration in sweating, nausea, and headache.
Heat exhaustion is less severe but can progress to heat stroke if not treated promptly. It presents with heavy sweating, rapid pulse, fatigue, dizziness, nausea, and headache. Dehydration, another common summer issue, occurs when your body loses more fluid than it takes in. This can lead to dizziness, confusion, and fainting.
2. Water-Related Injuries
As an escape from the heat you might think about spending more time by the water, whether it’s a pool, lake, river, ocean, etc. While swimming is fun, great exercise and a favorite summer pastime, it comes with its own set of risks. Drowning is a serious concern, particularly among young children. Even non-fatal drowning incidents can result in serious injury and long-term disabilities.
Other water-related injuries include diving accidents, which can lead to spinal cord injuries, and ear infections caused by water trapped in the ear canal, known as swimmer's ear. Additionally, kids have a poor sense of risk aversion and will often run around pool areas with no regard for the slip and fall injuries that may occur.
3. Sports Injuries
While school sports are out for the summer, recreational sports seasons are in full swing! The warmer weather is a draw to more people engaging in outdoor sporting events and activities. However, this also leads to an increased number of sports injuries. Common injuries include fractures, sprains, strains, and concussions. This increased time spent outdoors can also lead to other health issues we’ve mentioned like heat stroke, dehydration and more.
4. Food Poisoning
Summer picnics and barbecues are a breeding ground for bacteria when food is left out in the heat. Food poisoning can occur, leading to symptoms such as stomach cramps, diarrhea, vomiting, and fever. If this occurs it’s imperative that you stay on top of your hydration and nutrition.
5. Insect Bites and Stings
Summer brings out a variety of insects, and consequently, more insect bites and stings. While most are merely annoying, some can lead to severe allergic reactions. Symptoms can range from mild, such as itching and swelling, to severe, like difficulty breathing and loss of consciousness.
6. Sunburns and Skin Damage
Prolonged exposure to the sun without proper protection can lead to sunburns. In severe cases, sunburn can cause blistering and increase the risk of skin cancer.
While summer is a time for enjoyment, it's also essential to be aware of these common reasons for emergency room visits. By taking preventive measures, such as staying hydrated, wearing sunscreen, monitoring children in the water, and ensuring food safety, you can significantly decrease the chances of an unexpected emergency room visit. However, if an emergency does arise, don't hesitate to seek immediate medical attention.
Our medical experts at Advance ER are prepared to help you through all of the summer ailments you and your family might face. Visit our website or give us a call at (214) 494-8222 to find a location near you.