Summer means more fun in the sun, perhaps relaxing at a neighborhood barbecue, visiting the pool or beach, playing outdoor sports, or enjoying a hike. But as temperatures rise, so do risks for a wide range of injuries.
Visits to the emergency room typically spike in the summer months due to injuries that, with a little planning in advance, you can help to prevent.
First thing’s first: The key to any good summer injury prevention plan is to have consistent health care you can rely on. For non-life-threatening injuries, call your primary care provider for guidance on treatment. Even if it’s after hours, your provider’s office may have an emergency hotline that will put you in touch with a doctor on call.
For all serious or life-threatening injuries, call 911 and seek emergency care immediately.
This summer, give yourself and your family more peace of mind by preparing for whatever might come your way:
Keep a first aid kit handy. It’s always good to have a fully stocked first aid kit on hand in your home or car in case of any accidental bumps or bruises. Smaller kits that fit in a purse help too. First aid kits can be purchased through the Red Cross and at most pharmacies and department stores.
Drink plenty of water. Summer heat means a higher risk of dehydration, especially in children and older adults. Keep ready-to-fill water bottles by the tap, put a case of water in the trunk of your car—whatever helps everyone remember to drink up. The key is to not wait until you’re thirsty: Keep sipping water throughout the day.
Wear sunscreen. If you’re going to be out in the sun between the hours of 10 am and 6 pm, sunscreen is a must to protect from sunburn, skin damage due to sun exposure, and skin cancer. It’s ideal to put on sunscreen at least a half hour before you go outdoors, then reapply every two hours.
Wear a bicycle helmet. Accidents happen, even when you’re being careful. That’s why it’s a good idea to wear a helmet when cycling. If you do take a tumble, or if a serious accident occurs involving another bicycle or vehicle, a helmet can increase your chances of survival and reduce chances of serious brain injury.
Cross the street safely. When walking around the neighborhood, always stop and look both ways, even if there’s a pedestrian traffic light, and make sure the little ones are walking with an adult or and older, responsible child.
Swimming? Eliminate distractions. Leave the smartphone in your bag. A responsible adult, preferably one who knows CPR, should always be on hand watching if the kids are swimming. Anything can happen in an instant—even to kids who know how to swim well or are using flotation devices.
Opening the windows? Install window guards. If you open the windows in your house or apartment on hot summer days, window screens are not enough to keep kids from accidentally falling out. Install window guards and move furniture away from open windows.
Be ready in case of allergic reactions. If you have allergies or suspect you may have them, visit your doctor to determine if you need inhalers or other medications to prevent serious allergic reactions, such as anaphylaxis (the closing of airways). Ask your doctor if you need preventive medications, emergency medications, or both. Always keep prescribed medications on hand in the event your asthma acts up, or you are accidentally exposed to allergens.
Let’s Get Every Child Covered
This summer, Fidelis Care invites you to join us in helping every child in New York State get the health coverage they need. Our representatives will attend hundreds of events throughout the summer to answer questions, share information, and make it as easy as possible for parents to get quality health insurance for their children.
Visit fideliscare.org/everychildcovered for a complete listing of Statewide Every Child Covered events, or call 1-888-FIDELIS (1-888-343-3547) to learn more about Child Health Plus.