Summer Activity and Injury Prevention

Candace Reid

This article, entitled "Summer Activity and Injury Prevention," comes from partner site

Summer time is great for kids when it comes to time spent outdoors, when neither snow nor school can impede the myriad sports and activities that keep them healthy and socially involved. It’s also a time for accidents and injuries, with the increase in activity leads to an increase in trips to the emergency room. From serious, life-threatening dangers to the mild and temporary, a few precautions and safety measures are instrumental in keeping kids safe while they release their pent up school-year energy.

Time outdoors means time in the sun, and the sun poses a danger both in the short and long term. Sun burns can be serious enough to cause high fevers and a few days of intense pain, not to mention the eventual problems associated with sun exposure, like skin cancer. Many kids like to be tanned, and they don’t have time for the high maintenance rituals of coating themselves in thick lotions for an eventuality they generally deny. New forms of sunscreen exist that will make the application less tedious, with sprays and roll-ons that don’t leave a greasy feeling. For activities where it’s appropriate, hats that provide shade to the ears and face can help save skin from serious damage. It’s also important to protect the eyes from the sun. A wide variety of sporty sunglasses will stay on the face even during the most rigorous activities. This can help prevent cataracts down the road, as well as headaches caused by too much squinting.
Heat exhaustion is another serious danger, especially when it comes to locations where the summers are particularly hot. Hand in hand with dehydration, overexertion in the heat can even be fatal. Preparation is key. Light clothing as well as portable water bottles, and maybe even a personal fan, are a good start to preventing serious consequences. Before activity, kids need to drink. Sports drinks and sodas may be harmful in addition to not being as healthy as plain old water. An easily filled large capacity water bottle should also be on hand to replace what the body sweats out. Try filling it first with ice and then water, so the liquid stays cool for as long as possible.

The proper equipment for a chosen activity is another critical consideration. Shoes with good traction and support will help prevent falls from skidding or tripping, while knee and elbow pads along with a helmet should always be worn during any activity where hard contact with other kids, objects, or the ground are common. In addition, consider braces for ankles and knees. Braces can help prevent injury by keeping joints and limbs from moving in ways that they are not intended. The extra support can sometimes mean the difference between long-term damage that’s hard to cope with or fix, and many years of health and pain-free movement.

While the summer months often leave many kids with injuries that plague them on into the coming school year, there are plenty of things that can be done to keep disaster from happening. The right equipment, preparation, hydration, and protection will greatly reduce the injuries that an active youth will have to face during the summer months. From long term to short-term damage, everything can be prevented with a few easy precautions.

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