Summertime brings a sense of joy and adventure as we embrace the warm weather and engage in various outdoor activities. Along with the fun, there are potential risks and accidents that can occur. In this blog post, we will explore the 10 relatively common summertime accidents and provide tips on how to stay safe and enjoy the season to the fullest.
Common Summer Accidents and Risks To Be Aware Of
1. Recreational Boating Accidents
Castaic Lake, Marina del Rey, Big Bear Lake — California features some of the best spots for jet skiing in the country. This exhilarating activity is unfortunately also one of the most accident-prone. According to the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG), around 600 to 700 jet ski accidents and around 40 deaths are reported every year.
The USCG’s just-released 2022 accident report shows the vessel types with the highest percentage of deaths, where the vessel type was known, were open motorboats (47%), kayaks (14%), and personal watercraft (such as jet skis) and pontoons (9%). The Coast Guard recommends that boaters take additional safety precautions beyond wearing a life jacket and taking a boating safety course. These include attaching an engine cut-off switch, getting a free vessel safety check, and boating sober.
2. Lawn Mower Injuries
It may not seem like a risky activity but lawn mowers cause an average of 95,000 injuries annually, according to the National Institute of Health. Nationwide Children’s Hospital cautions statistics show tweens and teens, in particular, are at high risk of injury as mowing is often a chore they are asked to perform. Emergency departments treat more than 8,490 children younger than 18 years for lawn-mower related injuries each year.
Ensure a safe lawn mowing experience by wearing the appropriate safety gear, clearing the area of any potential hazards, and following the manufacturer’s instructions and safety guidelines. Keep children and pets at a safe distance, never disable safety features, and regularly maintain your mower to prevent accidents and injuries.
3. Skateboard Accidents
Anyone who has tried skateboarding knows learning takes time and may include a few scrapes along the way. In some cases, however, the injuries resulting from this popular summertime activity can be more serious.
The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOP) reports they see around 70,000 skateboard-related injuries in emergency departments each year. Facial injuries, such as a broken nose or jawbone, are common while severe injuries include concussion and other head injuries.
To reduce the risk of injury, the AAOP says it is important to avoid large ramps and downhills, and to wear proper safety gear, such as a helmet, wrist guards, and knee pads.
4. Swimming Pool Accidents
Pools provide refreshing relief during the summer, but they can also pose risks. The Centers for Disease Control of Prevention (CDC) reports an average of 11 people die from drowning each day in the United States and is a leading cause of death for children under the age of 5.
Drowning can happen quickly and quietly, so it is important to be aware of the risks and take precautions. There are many things you can do to prevent drowning, such as wearing a life jacket, swimming with a buddy, being aware of your surroundings, and never leaving children in a pool unattended, and have appropriate safety closures around the pool.
5. Bicycle Accidents
Cycling fatalities in the United States have been on the rise in recent years. According to recent statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) there were 966 cycling fatalities in 2021, the most in a single year since 1975. Several factors contribute to this trend, including increased traffic volume, distracted driving, inadequate cycling infrastructure, and a lack of awareness among motorists about sharing the road with cyclists. The top five states for cycling fatalities in 2021 were Florida, California, Texas, New York, and Arizona.
To decrease the risk of an accident, wear a helmet, follow traffic rules, use designated bike lanes when available, and make yourself visible to motorists. Stay alert and avoid distractions while riding, among other things.
Prolonged exposure to high temperatures can result in heatstroke, a medical emergency that can occur when your body temperature rises to 106 degrees or higher within 10 to 15 minutes. It is most common in the summer months, but it can happen at any time of year. The CDC Heat and Health Tracker shows an average of 9.235 people are hospitalized every year due to heat while around 702 heat-related incidents are fatal.
To prevent heatstroke, stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids, especially water. Wear loose-fitting, light-colored clothing. Avoid strenuous activity in hot weather. Take breaks in the shade or air conditioning. If you are feeling hot, take a cool shower or bath. If you think you are experiencing heatstroke, get to a cool place immediately and call 911.
7. Fireworks Mishaps
Fourth of July brings fireworks — and an elevated risk of serious injuries. The number of people injured by fireworks has increased significantly over the past 15 years. A recent report by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) found that injuries with fireworks climbed 25% in the U.S. between 2006 and 2021. In 2021, at least nine people died and an estimated 11,500 were injured in incidents involving fireworks.
It’s wise to leave fireworks to the professionals and enjoy public displays. If you do use fireworks, follow safety guidelines and keep a safe distance.
8. Grill Accidents
Backyard barbecues are a staple of summertime, but grills can pose fire and burn risks. BBQ-related accidents hit a peak in July, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). On average, the NFPA reports US fire departments respond to an estimated 10,600 home structure and outdoor fires involving grills per year. These fires cause an average of 10 civilian deaths, 160 civilian injuries, and $149 million in direct property damage annually. A defective grill can also lead to injuries such as burns and carbon monoxide poisoning.
To reduce the risk of injury while barbecuing, follow these safety tips: Ensure proper ventilation, keep a safe distance from flammable objects, and never leave the grill unattended. Additionally, use long-handled tools, keep children and pets away from the grill, and have a fire extinguisher nearby in case of emergencies.
9. Playground Injuries
Childhood and summer go together, but trips to the playgrounds also warrant some caution. The National Safety Council (NSC) reports more than 200,000 children under the age of 14 in the United States go to the emergency room with injuries related to playground equipment. More than 20,000 of these children suffer traumatic brain injuries, including concussions. Falls cause as many as 80% of playground injuries.
Playground safety tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics include: Ensure playgrounds have age-appropriate equipment and proper safety measures in place. Supervise children, teach them playground etiquette, and encourage safe play.
The scorching summer heat can lead to dehydration, a common summertime ailment, which — aside from a dry mouth — can cause a range of symptoms such as lethargy, dizziness, muscle cramps, and headache. To stay hydrated, drink plenty of water throughout the day, especially when engaging in outdoor activities. Avoid excessive sun exposure and seek shade when necessary.
The amount of fluids you need each day depends on your gender, activity level, and other factors. However, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine recommend that healthy men drink about 15.5 cups (3.7 liters) of fluids per day, and healthy women drink about 11.5 cups (2.7 liters) of fluids per day. Note that these numbers include food, which typically make up 20% of daily fluid intake.
Have You Been Injured in an Accident?
If you have been injured in an accident, you may be entitled to compensation. The experienced attorneys at Penney & Associates are here to help you through the process. Contact us today for a free consultation and learn more about what we can do for you.
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