An article in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette says that summertime is "trauma season" for hospital emergency rooms. This three-month period that follows spring is especially potent (read: dangerously debilitating) in American states where residents have been cooped up in the cold all winter (even if they were enjoying one of our 25 One-Pot Meals Perfect for Winter), eagerly awaiting warmer weather's open arms.
In this trauma season, a season that's ideal for frolicking in the outdoors, hosting barbecues (even those who avoid land-based meat can enjoy a good old BBQ by hosting an all-seafood summer get together), spending some time working on your short game, and relaxing on one of the best beaches for avoiding crowds, no one is truly ever safe. There are countless ways that even the most vigilant of hypochondriacs and worrywarts can face danger during summer.
We've pieced together 26 of the biggest health hazards that you may run into this summer. Knowledge is power, and learning what dangers may face you this summer can help you take the appropriate steps to keeping yourself out of harm's way.
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1. Athlete's Foot
Athlete's foot is a fungal infection of the skin on your foot, and it thrives in warm, moist areas. With increased sweating during the summer months and a higher likelihood of walking around in damp shoes, this contagious affliction can become almost viral (and not the cool, internet type of viral) rapidly.
2. Bicycle-Related Injuries
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over 900 bicyclists were killed in the United States in 2013. An estimated 494,000 emergency room visits also occurred because of bike-related injuries. As much as you may just want to ride your bicycle (and ride it where you like), it'd behoove you to wear a helmet and follow proper biking safety protocol while riding around -- in every season, not just summer.
3. Boating Accidents
No, we're not talking about swearing off of sashimi after being stranded on a boat for 10 days. Castaways aside, emergency room doctors around the country agree that drinking and boating are not a recipe for happy, healthy, uninjured humans. Boating on alcohol isn't much different than driving a car that awy. Once you factor in the fact that you can drown, become impaled on a rock hidden below the surface, or get sliced by a rapidly rotating propeller if tossed from a boat, drinking and boating doesn't sound like such a great option. Life jacket safety is of the utmost importance, so keep yourself, your family, and your friends accountable while cruising around the lake or the bay this summer.
4. Car Accidents
Traffic deaths tend to reach incredibly high numbers during June, July, and August. Why? More kids were home for summer, spending their days joyously driving around from point A to point B. More people have summer hours, driving to and from outdoor activities (such as dining in one of the 10 Best Restaurants for Outdoor Dining). With more people on the road, it's more important than ever to be aware of what you're doing while behind the wheel. That should be read as: Put your damn phone in the trunk while you're driving.
You can obviously become dehydrated year-round, but chances are increased during warmer temperatures when people tend to be more active. Don't let yourself become dehydrated. Instead, Stay Fit, Happy, and Hydrated With These 14 Warm Weather Hacks.
You'll undoubtedly be spending more time in boats and on beaches during summer, so we'd be remiss not to warn you that drowning ranks fifth among the leading causes of unintentional injury death in the United States. If you're all pumped to hit the beach and drink a few beers, you should also consider the fact that drinking heavily before swimming can increase your chances of drowning. Save the booze for a dry, beached sunset hour, wear a lifejacket, and remember that not everyone is as strong of a swimmer as you (think you) are.
7. Eye Damage
Looking for a reason to splurge on a more expensive set of shades this summer? If you buy cheap sunglasses without proper UV protection, you'll be opening up your pupils by making things darker and allowing more eye-damaging UV rays in. Thus, investing in a pair of sunglasses with 100 percent protection from UV rays is your best bet. You can also eat your way to better eye health by trying these 13 Foods That Can Help You Maintain Good Eyesight, but if you're spending a lot of time on the water, consider looking for a polarized lens as well.
8. Falls During Home Renovations
You're not going to paint the exterior bricks on your home a lovely new shade of lavender when there's snow on the ground, and many may argue that you shouldn't be painting the historic brick on your home at all. If you chose to do so, you need to keep safety in mind. Painting, roofing, gutter cleaning, power washing, and any other warm-weather residential renovation that requires a ladder can be damaging and potentially fatal, so be sure to practice proper ladder safety.
9. Fireworks Injuries
Imagine how silly you'd feel telling the ER doctor that your hand was blown off because you were playing with fireworks. Those who don't have proper fireworks knowledge are at quite a high risk of experiencing accident-related injuries while using them improperly. We suggest leaving the pyrotechnics to the professionals and enjoying the show safely from one of our 9 Bars and Restaurants Where You Can Watch Fireworks.
10. Flip Flops
Regular old flip flops have become a summer footwear fashion statement, but they're actually not so great for your body. Their design requires you to grasp the shoes onto your feet, forcing your gait to change. This could potentially lead to issues with your legs, knees, hips, and back, not to mention an increased likelihood of tripping and falling.
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