During the summer months, heatstroke, sunburn, drowning, falls, and food poisoning contribute to a variety of serious injuries and deaths.
Beware: The Dog Days of Summer
Summer is a time for fun in the sun and outdoor activities, but it’s also a time when serious injuries occur, especially to children. As temperatures rise and days get longer, summertime accidents and injuries send thousands of people to hospital emergency rooms each year.
According to the Old Farmer’s Almanac, the “Dog Days of Summer” refers to a period of hot and humid weather that occurs during July and August. “Dog Days” are linked to serious summertime injuries caused by intense heat, water activities, falls, and food poisoning.
Heat Stroke, Heat Exhaustion, and Dehydration
Hiking, relaxing on the beach, and enjoying outdoor activities can cause heatstroke, heat exhaustion, dehydration, and severe sunburn.
- Heat Stroke – Characterized by a lack of sweating, mental confusion, and skin that’s hot and red, heatstroke can cause a person to faint and become disoriented very quickly.
- Heat Exhaustion – Heat exhaustion does not cause mental confusion, but it does cause muscle cramps, cool clammy skin, irregular heart rate, dizziness, and nausea.
- Dehydration – Dehydration is characterized by increased thirst, a swollen tongue, dizziness, weakness, and fainting. In extreme cases, it can lead to seizures, brain swelling, and kidney failure.
- Sunburn – Sunburn is a leading summertime injury, usually caused by a lack of sunscreen, hats, and sunglasses that block harmful rays. Severe sun exposure can lead to melanoma and other skin cancers.
Summer water activities like swimming, boating, water skiing, and jet skiing contribute to severe injuries and drowning deaths. Since drowning can happen in less than 2 inches of water, it is the leading cause of death seen by personal injury lawyers for children under 5 years of age.
Outdoor activities cause serious fall injuries during summer sports, on playground equipment, and on skateboards, roller skates, and bicycles. It’s common for personal injury lawyers to see facial lacerations and eye injures, fractures, broken bones, head trauma, and traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) in children and teenagers.
Beach outings, pool parties, and backyard cookouts are summer traditions that come with serious injury risks. In hot weather, food exposed to high heat and direct sunlight for more than one hour can quickly develop bacteria that cause food poisoning. In some cases, victims may require emergency medical treatment with intravenous fluids and antibiotics.