The Hazards of Summer

What’s not to love about summer? The weather is great. The days are longer. People have cookouts and boating trips. They watch fireworks and take vacations. It doesn’t get any better than that… right?

However, in spite of these wonderful activities (and sometimes because of them) people also face the potential for injuries during the summer months. We’re not here to spoil the summer party. But, just like a mother tells her child to wear sunscreen before they go out to play, we’re going to give you a few reminders of the hazards of summer so that you might avoid them.

10 Potential Causes for Summer Injuries

The Sun – Yes, that massive ball of fire in the sky gives you a nice tan, but it can also cause a great deal of harm if you don’t take precautions. Sunburns, wrinkles and age spots are the least of your concerns. Overexposure to the sun is the leading cause of skin cancer. Wear plenty of sunscreen (at least 30 SPF, broad-spectrum), wear sunglasses and take shade when possible.

Boats – Summer months in South Carolina are great for water-based activities, and what better way to enjoy those activities than on a boat? Boating safety is of the utmost importance. South Carolina perennially lands on Top 10 lists for boating fatalities in the U.S.  A boat’s operator should always be well trained and experienced in boating. Life jackets are a must on boats – the vast majority of boating fatalities are due to drowning.

Fireworks – For those watching from a safe distance, fireworks are an amazing display of colorful, streaking lights against the night sky. For those lighting them, they’re miniature explosive devices that have the potential to cause serious damage. Always remember just how dangerous fireworks are, and be sure to take extra precautions when lighting them. Read labels, wear protective glasses, never relight a dud firework and never set off fireworks after or while consuming alcohol. Fireworks are fun for spectators, but they are a big responsibility for those in charge.

Lawn Mowers – Workers in emergency rooms can tell you from first-hand experience what happens when a lawn mower causes a serious injury. They often occur because the lawn mower operator failed to wear proper gear (boots, jeans, protective glasses) or from projectiles thrown from the blade of the mower. It’s for this reason that children should never be nearby when someone is mowing grass. And children should never, ever ride on a lawnmower with the operator.

The Heat – The heat of the humid summer months can cause dehydration and heat strokes. In fact, hundreds of people lose their lives every year due to heat exposure. Always prepare in advance for the summer heat by checking the weather before making plans, drinking plenty of water and avoiding activities during the hottest parts of the day. Never leave children or pets inside of a vehicle, even if there is only mild heat.

Swimming Pools – An adult should always supervise swimming pools. Accidents in pools can end up being tragedies in a matter of seconds. If you plan on spending plenty of time around swimming pools, learn basic safety practices, such as CPR. Keep a phone nearby in case of emergencies.

Sports Injuries – Once the warm weather arrives, people start to go outdoors, often to play sports, such as running, biking or basketball. After months of being inactive, this can lead to a higher risk of sports injuries. Common injuries include head injuries, ACL tears, sprains and torn muscles. Don’t be too proud to take it slow. Always be cautious when playing a sport after months of inactivity – and be especially mindful of the heat.

Grills – People love cookouts. But grills can be very dangerous for those that take safety for granted. Every year, close to 9,000 home fires are started by grills. Store propane tanks in a safe place. Always make sure that coals are extinguished. Don’t keep an active grill next to your house or close to anything flammable. And always keep children away from a hot grill – nearly half of all grill injuries are burns.

Motorcycles – As amazing as it is to enjoy a beautiful summer day on a motorcycle, bikers face an increased chance of being involved in an accident26 times the rate of car occupants. Always wear a helmet, and make sure that it affords you plenty of visibility. Practice defensive driving, perform routine inspections of your motorcycle and avoid distractions while on the road.

Insects – Just as people come out during the summer months, so do insects. To avoid mosquito bites and bee stings, always wear insect repellant and avoid using scented soaps or other scented products. Be careful about which repellants you use on small children. DEET should never be used on children younger than two months old. At night, wear sleeves and pants to minimize the amount of skin exposed.

We hope that we haven’t scared the fun out of summer, but trust us — by taking precautions and being vigilant about safety, you’ll ensure that you and those you love have an amazing summer season, or, at the very least, an injury-free summer.

If you or a loved one has experienced an injury due to someone else’s negligence, call the South Carolina injury attorneys at the Louthian Law Firm, P.A. We have helped many clients pursue compensation for their injuries to help pay for the damages they have suffered.