Summertime is fun time! The beautiful weather demands you come out and play. Enjoy your hiking, biking, gardening, and all the activities that are much more enjoyable when it’s warm and sunny, but be careful. Emergency visits tend to rise with the temperatures.
While many injuries are relatively minor and will heal quickly on their own, it’s important to understand when it’s appropriate to go to the emergency room. It could save a life.
Here’s a list of five common summertime injuries and the symptoms you need to know:
As temperatures rise in the summer, it’s important to remain cool, well rested and hydrated. Prolonged exposure to high temperatures and dehydration are a lethal mix causing your body to overheat. This can lead to heat cramps, heat exhaustion and the most serious of all – heatstroke. Heatstroke is a very serious problem that causes internal organ failure. If left untreated, it can kill.
Seek help immediately if you experience extremely high body temperature (104 F or higher), fainting, nausea and/or vomiting, an intense headache, seizures, confusion, disorientation, rapid breathing or increased heart rate.
Summer wouldn’t be complete without a few bumps and bruises. Most are harmless, resulting in minor pain or tenderness. Head injuries, though, can be tricky. Sometimes the symptoms of serious problems do not reveal themselves for several hours…or even days.
You will want to go to the hospital if, after a blow to the head, you experience a headache or stiff neck, sleepiness, vomiting, loss of movement in your arms or legs, or don’t seem to be thinking straight/acting normal.
Bee & Wasp Stings
Everyone reacts differently to bee and wasp stings. Some will barely notice a sting while others may have a life-threatening allergic reaction. Usually there isn’t anything to worry about. The pain will go away within a few hours. Swelling from more moderate reactions will go down within a few days. But severe allergic reactions are nothing to take lightly.
Call 911 if, after being stung, you have difficulty breathing, swelling of the throat and tongue, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, dizziness or fainting, or additional skin reactions such as hives.
Wrist and Elbow Fractures
Falls become more frequent in the summer as outdoor activity levels increase. Our natural tendency is to catch ourselves, causing our wrists and elbows to pay the price. Early detection and treatment of fractures can help speed the recovery process and prevent complications in the future.
Head to the emergency room after a fall if you notice an obvious deformity, difficulty using the injured area, pain, swelling, warmth, bruising or redness.
Most of the time, snakes are not aggressive and they will try to avoid people. Even if they do attack, many bites are not life-threatening. However, you should treat every bite as a medical emergency unless you are absolutely positive the snake was not venomous.
General symptoms of a bite may include bleeding from the puncture wound, severe pain, swelling and burning of the skin, blurred vision, dizziness, diarrhea, fever, fainting, increased thirst, and weakness.
For more information, download our Know When to Go Quick Reference that outlines the top 10 medical conditions that should prompt you to go to the emergency room.