Falls, heat-related illnesses top summertime injuries

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - The summer months may be a time for outdoor fun, but it can come with its fair share of "ouches" too.

According to the Centers for Disease Control,  falls, bug bites, heat-related illnesses. and burns are among the most common summer aliments.

Pediatrician Dr. James Jang says this time of year he sutures plenty of cuts.

"We see a lot of strains and sprains. We see a lot of fractures, some scrapes, and abrasions," said Jang.

While kids will be kids- meaning scraped knees are bound to happen- Jang says it's important to keep a close watch during play time. Reduce chances of falls by making sure any playground equipment is age appropriate and always wear protective gear like helmets or knee pads.

If falls do happen, Jang says the red flags for serious injury include swelling, excessive bleeding, or deformity.  If your child hit his head, look for dizziness, vomiting or nausea, and disorientation or loss of consciousness.  Those signs warrant medical attention.

Warmer temperatures also mean that mosquitoes, bees, ticks and plenty of other stinging insects will be out and about as well.

"The biggest concern is looking for and watching for infection such as increasing redness and swelling of the area, increasing warmness, any pustules or drainage," said Jang.

If suffering a bug bite or sting, also watch for signs of an allergic reaction like hives, swelling, or trouble swallowing which could need emergency treatment.  Ticks and mosquitoes can also carry diseases like Lyme disease or West Nile Virus.

Jang says with less serious stings, cold compresses and antihistamines like Benadryl can help with itching and swelling.  Using insect repellant will help keep bugs away.

Of course, you can't have summer without the heat.  Jang says that heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke are always a big concern, especially at the start of the summer when bodies are not yet accustomed to heat exposure.

"Try to avoid being out in the hottest times of the day which is between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.  Make sure that you're drinking plenty of fluids," said Jang.

The doctor also explains that burns are common and not just from sun exposure. Fireworks, grills, and camp fires can cause serious damage without proper supervision.

While summer is definitely a time for fun, Jang says safety should always come first.  The CDC has more information on summer and outdoor safety here.  

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