As the weather grows warmer, the days grow longer, and jackets give way to tank-tops and bikinis, it can only mean one thing—summer is coming.
With June 21st right around the corner, children and adults alike are already dreaming of lazy mornings by the pool, trips to the beach, and barbeques lasting long past sunset. But while this sunny season is a time for rest and relaxation for most families in Florida, the summer is also the busiest season of the year for Florida emergency rooms.
Every summer, emergency rooms see a spike in patients seeking medical attention for serious injuries. Below, we’ve listed some of the most common culprits behind summertime injuries.
Drowning. Drowning is the leading cause of unintentional death in children ages one through four. Last summer alone, 36 states across the US experienced one or more child drowning in a swimming pool or hot tub. With more miles of coastline than anywhere else in the nation and thousands of pools, Florida sees a particularly high number of drownings and near-drownings each year.
To prevent drowning accidents, pool owners should obtain CPR certifications and keep an eye on young children around pools and at the beach. Never let a child out of your sight when he or she is in the water, even for a moment. Don’t rely on a lifeguard entirely—remember, lifeguards may be charged with the supervision of more than 50 swimmers at any given time.
Burns. Burns threaten the safety of adults and children alike, sending thousands of victims to the emergency room every summer. Summertime burns are often caused by barbeque grills, campfires, and fireworks. Always exercise caution during summer festivities when fire and hot objects are involved, and keep a close eye on little ones.
Dehydration. Dehydration occurs when your body loses more water and bodily fluids than it takes in. Symptoms include weakness, dizziness, fainting, and confusion. Severe cases of dehydration can be fatal. During the summer, hot temperatures cause excess sweat, which can in turn lead to dehydration. You can prevent dehydration by drinking plenty of water and electrolyte-infused beverages, and limiting hard exercise and outdoor activities to cooler times during the day.
Bicycle injuries. Every year, adults and children of all ages are rushed to the emergency room for bicycle related injuries. Bicycling injuries can be caused by crashes, overtraining, and auto accidents, and blame is often given to negligent drivers and insufficient bike lanes.
To avoid scrapes and bruises, as well as more serious injuries like broken bones and traumatic brain injury, be sure to outfit yourself and your kids with a helmet before cycling. Wear reflectors and bright colors whenever cycling, and try to avoid biking after dark or in the heavy rain.
Boating injuries. With boundless waterways and thousands of boats registered each year, Florida sees a high number of boating accidents and fatalities. Alcohol consumption often plays a role in these types of incidents, but boating accidents can also be caused by operator inexperience, recklessness, inattention, weather, and malfunctioning vessels.
To minimize the potential for damage in a boating accident, always abstain from drinking while operating any kind of watercraft, including yachts, jet skis, and pontoons. Ensure the operator and all passengers are wearing life jackets at all times.
Lawn mower injuries. Lawn mowing injuries are surprisingly common in the US, with thousands of Americans hospitalized for lawn mower accidents annually. Oftentimes, these accidents are caused when rocks, sticks, and debris are caught in the blades.
You can avoid lawn mower accidents by clearing the yard of hazardous obstacles, and refraining from mowing after dark. Always wear protective equipment, and ensure mowers are in good working condition.
Trip and falls. These types of accidents can occur to anyone, but young children and seniors are especially vulnerable. Trip and fall accidents are especially common in parks, playgrounds, on trampolines, and around slippery swimming pools. Avoid trip and fall injuries by keeping youngsters away from unkempt parks, poorly maintained playgrounds, and trampolines without proper safety measures. Around swimming pools, concrete, and asphalt, remember—walk, don’t run.
Summers should be spent building castles on the beach, lounging by the pool, and sizzling up burgers in the backyard—not in the emergency room. Keep an eye out for common summer accident culprits to keep a broken leg, traumatic brain injury, or sprained wrist from spoiling the season.
If you, your child, or a loved one is injured over the summer due to the negligence of another, you can hold the guilty party accountable with the help of a skilled Florida personal injury lawyer. You won’t be able to get back your entire summer, but you may be able to obtain compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and overall pain and suffering.
About the Author:
A partner at Lawlor, White & Murphey and a distinguished personal injury lawyer, Ben Murphey tries complex disputes that include civil appeals, maritime and admiralty claims, wrongful death, and labor disputes. Mr. Murphey has been recognized for his excellence in the area of personal injury litigation by being rewarded with a 10/10 Avvo Rating and named a Super Lawyers “Rising Star” for the last four consecutive years (2011-2014). Mr. Murphey regularly tries cases in state and federal courts around the country, being admitted to practice before all Florida courts and the United States Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit.