Avoid Summer Injuries by Following Some Simple Tips and Listening to Your Body

The summer months bring not only additional time to be outdoors, but also the potential for injuries and issues involving heat.

Justin Wright, M.D., assistant professor of sports medicine, TTUHSC El Paso Dept. of Family Medicine, says his office sees more injuries from kids playing outdoors now that they are out of school. “These include sprains, strains and fractures. In the clinic setting we don’t see that many heat injuries because when they occur, these would typically go to the Emergency Room.”

“Injuries from playing outdoors can be avoided by using the appropriate protective equipment such as helmets, and with counseling on at-risk behavior,” he said.

Dr. Wright added that the NCAA Sports Medicine Handbook recommends some precautions to take when working or playing in the heat:

  • Take frequent breaks
  • Breaks should be in the shade
  • Drink plenty of fluids and try to avoid caffeinated drinks
  • Use fans for cooling
  • Wear light-colored, moisture-wicking, loose-fitting clothing
  • Increase recovery interval times between exercise bouts

Some signs your body will give to warn you it’s time to get out of the sun include:

  • Nausea
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Unusual fatigue
  • Sweating has stopped
  • Disturbances with vision
  • Fainting
  • Muscle cramping
  • Decreased performance
  • Unsteadiness
  • Confusion
  • Vomiting
  • Irritability
  • Pale or flushed skin