7 Common Summer Medical Emergencies and How to Avoid Them
Summer is a time of fun, sunshine, and outdoor activities of all kinds. Although it is the favorite season for many kids and adults, summer is also a time of increased medical emergencies. Many common summer emergencies are just waiting to strike, from heatstroke, dehydration, bug bites, sunburns, swimming accidents, and sports injuries.
Keep reading to learn more about the most common medical emergencies we see during summer so you and your family can have a safer season:
1. Heat Stroke
With the sweltering summer temperatures in Dallas, falling victim to heat stroke and heat exhaustion is fairly common. When the heat index is over 91, stay in cool areas and out of the sun.
Heat exhaustion is a milder form of heatstroke. If you have any of these symptoms, you should visit your nearest emergency room for treatment:
- Little or no sweating
- Hot, dry skin
- Flushed cheeks
- Fever (over 104° F)
- Racing heartbeat
- Rapid breathing
- Nausea & vomiting
- No urine output
- Loss of consciousness, fainting
2. Swimming Accidents
Three thousand five hundred thirty-six fatal unintentional drownings every year occur during the warm summer months. While splashing around in the pool is fun for every family member, it can also turn dangerous quickly.
- Never leave your children unattended
- Make sure everyone in the pool knows how to swim
- Enter the pool feet first, not head first
- Don't mix swimming and drinking alcohol
- Be mindful of the weather and stay on land if there's a storm
When it's a nice hot and dry Dallas day, you're not likely to stop working, playing your favorite sport, working on the house, fixing the car, or exercising, to grab some water. However, if you haven't been drinking enough to keep up with the heat index, you may be putting yourself at risk for dehydration.
Children and infants, and older adults are especially susceptible to dehydration, which could result in the need for a medical emergency. Dehydration becomes an emergency concern when the following symptoms are present:
- A fever of 103 F or more
- Severe headache
- Difficulty breathing
- Pain in the chest or stomach
- No urination in the past 12 hours
- Confusion and dizziness
To avoid a trip to the ER, be sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day — whether you're outdoors or not. If you're dehydrated and can't rehydrate yourself quickly enough, or if your condition has deteriorated, you should seek medical help immediately.
4. Sports Injuries
All of these sporting events sprout up like growing grass in the summer. Exhilarating and a good source of exercise, summer sports can also be a source of injuries, such as broken bones, muscle cramps and sprains, ligament and tendon tears, concussions, and more. To minimize the risk of these injuries, it's best to warm up and avoid contact whenever possible. Knowing how to administer basic first aid can keep the injury from worsening if one of the injuries occurs to you or an athlete you're competing with; knowing how to administer basic first aid can help keep the injury from worsening. If the injury is severe, seek medical attention immediately.
People living with Asthma, both young and old, have a terrible time during the summer thanks to higher levels of air pollution and pollen counts. Ensure you have a ready supply of controlling medications and keep an eye on local air conditions. It may be prudent to stay indoors where levels are very high, but if you are caught unawares with a severe attack, the emergency room can help bring your breathing under control.
6. Food poisoning
Poisoning is twice as likely during the summertime than at other times of the year since bacteria love hot, humid weather. It is estimated that around 76 million people suffer from food poisoning each year. Perishable foods should never be left out of refrigeration for more than two hours, reduced to one hour if the temperature goes above 90°F. Food poisoning can be dangerous, causing dehydration that can lead to kidney and heart problems.
All snake bites should be treated as serious because we often don't know whether the snake is venomous or not. While many bites are not life-threatening unless you are sure the snake is harmless, you should seek antivenin treatment at the emergency room.
Summer Emergency Care in Dallas
Though we hope you have a fun and safe summer, our team at ER of Texas is prepared to take care of your family should an accident occur. Familiarize yourself with our locations here so that when the time comes that you need emergency services, you can get here quickly, and we can serve you well! We have eight emergency rooms emergency centers in Dallas-area locations to help you in your time of need.