The summer is time for fun at the beach, road trips, barbecuing, or just spending time with your family and friends while enjoying the outdoors. Unfortunately, summer is also a time when more unplanned injuries or skin conditions can occur. And, without health insurance, your finances can take an equally unexpected hit.
Below are some things to watch out for so you can enjoy your summer without any accidents or injuries.
Lawn Mower Injuries
While mower injuries can occur any time of year depending on where you live, along with the warm weather comes an increase in visits to the emergency room. People seem to forget that their lawn mower poses a slew of dangers. Toes, hands, and fingers can get caught by the blades. In addition, rocks, sticks, and sprinkler heads getting flung out at high velocity can do enormous harm to you or someone standing nearby.
The biggest mistake here – combining drinking with boating. It’s not that much different than drinking and driving – except now you have the added risks, such as of falling out of a moving boat, getting hit by propellers, another boat or a jet ski, and possibly drowning. The best advice is to not boat and drink and keep life jackets on at all times, especially with kids.
The more time you spend out in the sun on a hot summer’s day being active, the more water you should drink to avoid becoming dehydrated. If you suddenly start feeling dizzy, lightheaded, and your mouth tastes as dry as the Mojave Desert – you’re dehydrated – and that isn’t a good thing. It means you haven’t taken in enough fluids to replace those you’ve been sweating out.
Heatstroke is the most severe form of dehydration. That’s when your internal temperature rises to dangerously high levels. Your skin gets hot, but you stop sweating. Someone with heatstroke may pass out, have hallucinations, or suffer seizures. So, maintain your fluid levels and save yourself a trip to the ER.
Sunburns are mostly somewhat preventable. A long day at the beach can result in a minor to severe sunburn no matter how many precautions you take. Even with all the skin cancer warnings, the percentage of adults nationwide who get at least one sunburn during the year that requires treatment hasn’t shown much decline, if any.
Alarmingly, your risk for melanoma doubles, if you’ve had just five sunburns in your life. They can range from a first-degree burn, all the way up to more critical thermal burns. ER’s quite often see second-degree thermal burns, when people are out drinking or falling asleep in the sun, without realizing how long they’ve been out there.
Precautions include the obvious – apply a high SPF lotion or sunblock that protects against both UVB and UVA rays. If you burn easily – wear a long-sleeved shirt, a wide-brimmed hat, and stay out of blistering midday rays.
Most people don’t think about total food safety on summer picnics. As it turns out, food poisoning puts about 300,000 people in the hospital every year, hitting its peak in the summer months. Anything with dairy, eggs, mayonnaise, and meat products can develop nasty bacteria in only a couple of hours of being unrefrigerated.
Keep surfaces and hands clean, make sure all raw meat is packed separately and cooked properly, and perishables are kept chilled in an insulated cooler with ice to reduce the risk of food poisoning.
Although you hear the words “safe and sane” long before Independence Day arrives, individuals continue to be injured, some severely, when handling fireworks on the 4th of July. In fact, approximately 10,000 people are injured every year. Many of those suffer significant hand and eye trauma from the mishandling of fireworks. This 4th – think safety first – and avoid the emergency room.
Summertime Stings and Bites
Stay clear of bees, hornets, or wasps. For most people, a bee or wasp sting is just painful, but for a few others, it can be life-threatening. According to the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, three in 100 adults in the United States – or nearly 7 million people – have life-threatening allergies to insect stings.
Though less common, if you reside in areas where rattlesnakes abound, use caution when hiking or walking your dog. Give the snake plenty of room and avoid a confrontation.
The whole idea of enjoying the warm summer months is to have as much fun as possible without making an unnecessary trip to the emergency room. And, the whole idea behind having health insurance coverage is to get you or a family member the proper care in case of an emergency without destroying your finances.
Don’t forget there’s now a penalty for not having health insurance, so you want to get as much information as possible regarding the Affordable Care Act health insurance. Why not get a free health insurance quote today?
Do you take extra precautions in the summer to avoid any unnecessary trips to the ER for you and your family? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.