Summer Fun and the Emergency Room

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Summer is a hard-won prize for Canadians after the winters we endure. The weather is hot but the lake is cold and diving right in is too much temptation to pass up. But before you take up a new summer activity or sport, make sure you're doing it safely. It's hard to participate in all the fun that summer has to offer when you're on crutches. While your health and dental insurance plan can help keep the out-of-pocket costs of treating injuries down, it can't prolong your summer vacation. If you think we're being alarmist, think again. Hospital emergency room visits to treat product-related injuries are more common in the summer than at other times of the year. With that in mind, keep these tips in mind to enjoy the weather… safely!

Always Use Recommended Safety Equipment

These days all the cool kids are wearing helmets for cycling, skateboarding and riding on scooters. They’re also wearing life jackets when riding on a boat or wakeboarding. Available in bright colours and patterns and lighter and more comfortable than ever before, safety equipment is awesome! And it always looks much cooler than a cast or neck brace.

Water Safety is No Joke

Basic safety precautions apply at all times while in the water, even if that’s just the local wading pool. Never leave children unattended, never swim alone and never dive into unknown waters. Remember if you’re driving a boat that the same rules regarding alcohol and driving apply in the water, so save that cold beverage for dry land.

Beautify the Yard with Caution

A truly frightening number of emergency room visits are the result of “Man vs. Lawnmower.” Unsurprisingly, the lawnmower usually wins. In many cases, this is because people have disabled safety features that were built in by the manufacturer. Don’t disable safety features! Though it doesn’t have the same disastrous results as a confrontation with lawn maintenance equipment, general tidying up in the garden can also lead to some discomfort. Keep yard waste bags light, bend at the knees when lifting them, and take regular rest and water breaks when working outside in the summer. If you do find you’ve done too much, check your health and dental insurance policy to see if massage therapy is covered.

Check with a Doctor

Summer is a great time to try a new activity or sport. If it has been a long winter (or decade) of inactivity, make sure you check with your doctor to make sure you’re healthy enough to start a new activity or exercise program.

Be Sun Safe

Other common causes of trips to the emergency room are related to heat and sun stroke. Try to avoid outdoor activities at the hottest times of day, use sunscreen and reapply it often, drink lots of water throughout the day, and if you feel like you’re overdoing it in the heat – STOP!

Summertime is a great time to enjoy the outdoors. Avoiding a trip to the emergency room means you’ll have more time to savour the season!


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