Tips for keeping safe in summer
July 2, 1999
Web posted at: 4:17 p.m. EDT (2017 GMT)
|CNN's Holly Firfer reports on how to prepare for a summer season outside.
Read what doctors have to say about sports injuries or ask your own questions.
|HELP AT HOME:
Have you burned yourself?
Try these tips for care at home.
Have you cut yourself?
Try these tips for treating cuts and scrapes.
Do you know what to do if you're stung by a bee or other insect?
Try these tips.
Do you think you have poison ivy?
Try these tips for relief from the itching.
Are you suffering from a sports injury?
Relief could be as easy as R.I.C.E.
Have you spent too much time in the sun?
Try these tips to relieve your burn.
|WOUND WARNING SIGNS
Wounds still bleeding after 5 minutes of steady, firm pressure
Wounds that appear particularly deep or "gaping" open
Deep puncture wounds, such as those caused by stepping on a nail
Wounds that have foreign material, such as dirt, glass or metal embedded in them
Any cut from animal bites and all human bites
Any wound that shows signs of infection (e.g., fever, swelling, bad smell, fluid draining from area or increasing pain)
Problems with movement or sensation after a laceration
Source: The American College of Emergency Physicians
From Medical Correspondent Holly Firfer
(CNN) -- This summer, 271 million Americans are expected to hit the vacation trail. That means people of all ages hiking, biking, swimming and sunning. It also means broken bones, lacerations and head injuries.
"This is trauma season for us. I mean, everyone's on the road on wheels, on the trampoline, on a bike -- so we see a lot of orthopedic injuries," said emergency room physician William Jackson Jr.
According to the American College of Emergency Physicians, doctors see more fractured or broken bones during the summer than at any other time of the year. Add to that heat exhaustion, lacerations, head injuries, sunburn, bug bites and bee stings and you have the top reasons the emergency rooms across the United States heat up from May to August.
If you are one of the 30 million Americans who will be strapping on inline skates, or one of the 67 million who will be pedaling across the bike trails, doctors warn you to be careful.
Should you injure yourself, doctors have some basic guidelines you should follow.
"If you have a serious concern about a fracture, the first thing you should do is think about splinting it so no further damage can be done," said pediatric emergency medicine physician Joseph Simon.
Doctors advise watching the injury. Ice it immediately, but if it seems discolored or deformed, seek medical attention.
As the weather heats up, people do too.
For a sunburn, immediately get out of the sun and put cold compresses on a burn. Take an aspirin or ibuprofen to reduce the swelling and pain.
It is possible to suffer heat exhaustion in minutes, even in 80-degree weather.
"Some folks get nausea, have body cramping -- they will get light-headed and get a sense of fatigue," said Jackson.
Immediately get out of the sun and into shade, and drink plenty of liquids.
Children are most at risk, pediatricians warn.
"Children triple their sweat glands when they go through puberty, so prior to puberty children have more trouble controlling their body heat," Simon said.
If they become confused and unresponsive and their skin is clammy, they may be suffering from heat stroke. Doctors say this can be life-threatening. Cool them with ice and call for an ambulance.
But this isn't the end of the summer worries. There are all those bumps, bruises and cuts that occur when people become more active.
Cuts should be cleaned out thoroughly before they clot and can cause an infection. If the skin spreads apart when you put a bit of tension on the edges of the cut, you may need stitches.
If you are planning to hike or bike, be prepared with a first aid kit. Any kit should include gauze, triangular bandages to make a sling, antiseptic to clean wounds, sunscreen, and aspirin or ibuprofen.
"There are bugs out there waiting for you. There is concrete waiting outside for you. There's the sun waiting for you, and folks just need to be prepared," Jackson said.
CNN Special: 4th of July
Busy -- and bumpy -- July 4 travel weekend expected
July 1, 1999
Summer fun hides hazards for children
June 3, 1999
Sun safety a must for children
May 28, 1999
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Sun Safety
American College of Emergency Physicians
Skin care - Keeping your skin healthy at any age
Screen yourself for melanoma - Early diagnosis is crucial
Sun protection - A quick guide to SPF
Note: Pages will open in a new browser window
External sites are not endorsed by CNN Interactive.
LATEST HEALTH STORIES:
China SARS numbers pass 5,000
Report: Form of HIV in humans by 1940
Fewer infections for back-sleeping babies
Pneumonia vaccine may help heart, too