Planning Some Outdoor Summer Fun? 5 Injury-Related Tips

According to the CDC, the leading cause of death for people ages 1-44 in the U.S. is unintentional injury.

And during the summer, people of every age group are outdoors and more active.

Here are some tips for preventing and managing common injuries that happen during popular activities.

1. Picnic and Hiking Injuries

Picnicking and hiking are two of the top three favorite summer activities for Americans (according to a 2016 study by the National Recreation and Park Association). 

And they account for a significant annual share of visits to the doctor and emergency room for various injuries. 

It’s likely someone will suffer an injury like a broken or sprained ankle on a hiking or camping trip. Team sports like dodgeball, volleyball, and softball are popular picnic activities.

Injury Prevention and Management

To reduce the risk of common impact, flesh, and musculoskeletal injuries, use standard safety equipment, observe and enforce safety rules, and warm up with light jogging and stretching beforehand.

On hikes and camping trips far from cars and modern life, pack foldable crutches and walking sticks or canes. 

And if there’s extra room, pack a litter or drag. This blanket-like device can be a lifesaver when someone is seriously injured and unable to walk at all.

2. Cycling Injuries

Cyclists, beware. 

Traumatic brain injury is a leading cause of death in the United States. Though cycling is popular, helmet laws for cycling are not. And where helmet laws are in effect, many cyclists don’t comply. 

Cycling accounts for almost 20% of the sports-related head injuries treated at US hospital emergency rooms in 2018.

The Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute suggests wearing a helmet can reduce the risk of head and neck injury by up to 88%.

Injury Prevention and Management

Concussions can be fatal and have long-term effects, and early evaluation and treatment are critical.  

When someone falls from a bike and hits their head, they should seek medical attention as soon as possible. Even when they think they’re ok. 

3. Swimming Injuries

Musculoskeletal injuries like swimmer’s shoulder are common in swimming.

Though a much rarer injury than swimmer’s shoulder, diving into the water is one of the leading annual causes of spinal cord injuries.

Injury Prevention 

Characterized by inflammation of the shoulder tendons, it develops as swimmers repeatedly raise their arms in a crawl stroke (a stroke people commonly call ‘freestyle’). Varying swimming styles can help prevent swimmer’s shoulder.

To prevent injuries from diving, always supervise children and verify that water depth is a minimum of eight feet. 

4. Water Sports Injuries

Riding on boats and jet skis can be thrilling but also dangerous. Common watercraft injuries include:

Brain trauma from oxygen deprivation from being underwater too long and from impact from a collision with another boat or watercraft.

Spinal cord injuries from impact during boat and jet ski collisions and hitting fixed objects.

Spinal compression from absorbing the impact of watercraft bouncing on waves.

Whiplash from impacts during boat accidents.

  • Injury Prevention To lessen the chances of injury while operating a watercraft, use all required safety gear, including life jackets and helmets, and follow all relevant maritime laws at all times.

5. Playground Injuries

The most common playground injuries include:

  • concussions
  • internal organ injuries
  • broken bones and dislocations
  • strains and sprains

Falls are the leading cause of playground-related emergency room visits. Children fall when they lose their grips on merry-go-rounds, swings, monkey bars, slides, and seesaws. 

Children can also fall when they lose their grip or balance due to loose clothing and clothing with drawstrings.

Injury Prevention

Focused adult supervision and safety instruction are critical to preventing playground injuries.

Board-Certified Pain Management Doctors

Have you or a loved one suffered an injury recently?

At Texas Pain Physicians, we have a whole team of board-certified pain management doctors. We can help get you or your loved ones back to an active, pain-free lifestyle as quickly as possible.

Call (972) 636-5727 to book an appointment with us today!