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5 Common Summer Related Emergencies

Amer Tobing

The school year will be over soon, and with it will start summer outdoor activities like going to the pool, bike riding, camps, trampolines, beaches… and the list keeps on going!  

No one expects an illness or injuries to occur, but they do.  Here are 5 common injuries we find that happens when the summer comes around.

1. Heat- emergencies

In our First Aid classes, we cover the 3 heat-related injuries: 1. heat cramps, 2. heat exhaustion, and 3. heatstroke.  In 2014 the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published that up to 1,000 Americans die each year due to heat-related illness. 

1.     Heat cramps can easily be treated by seeking shade under a tree or removing the person from the outside environment.  Have them rest and gently massage the affected area.

2.     Heat exhaustion if not treated quickly can lead to heatstroke, and

3.     Heatstroke can lead to death. 

There are several differences between heat exhaustion and heatstroke.  One of the easier signs to recognize is that heat exhaustion will cause the patient to sweat heavily, while with heat stroke the patient will have more dry and flushed skin.

Treatment for Heat Stroke: bring them into a cool environment, remove clothing down to undergarment, water down patient externally, and apply ice packs to the side of the neck, under the armpit, and the groin area.  Blood flow passing these areas will cool the blood down with the intent of cooling the internal temperature.


2. Swimming injuries and drowning.

I have read different reasons for why adult swim exists… give the lifeguards a break to providing time for children to rest.  Having four children of my own, I know that if they could stay in the pool “forever,” they probably would.

Adult swim is to give the kids a break with the purpose to prevent fatigue, drownings, and hypothermia. Drowning, among 1 to 4-year-old children, is the second most common cause of death by unintentional injury, after car accidents, according to the U.S. Centers For Disease Control And Prevention. Children are also more likely to drown in a swimming pool than anywhere else.

3. Abrasions, scraps, and cuts.

Whether it be from running, jumping, walking, or biking… slips, trips, falls, and injuries from physical! activities are bound to happen.  Keep in mind that common upper and lower extremity bleeds will not present as when there is a bleed of the head. 

Remember, the head is very vascular, meaning it has a lot of small arteries and veins that will seem like the injury it’s a lot worse than it is.  Once the blood is controlled, you will likely see a smaller injury than you expected. 

At the same time, pay close attention to how the person injured themselves.  This will also provide you with an idea of how severe the injury could actually be.


4. Sports injuries

Keep it simple!  Sports-related injuries from playing indoor or outdoor sports can sometimes be difficult to assess.  We also find people wanting to continue playing with the hope and belief that their injury is something minor, as many of us do.  Home care using the RICE (rest, ice, compression, elevation) technique is usually and many times the solution for minor sprains.

 However, a serious strain or break can be overlookedwhile it should be seen by a doctor.  Keep in mind, between a sprain, strain, or fracture, the strain tends to hurt the most. 

For upper extremity injuries, if the patient has immobilized their injury by holding the injured part to their body, do not try and use fancy splints and braces.  Simply find something, like a jacket tied around the body, to help secure the­ injury to the body and wait for help to arrive.  For lower extremities, leave the patient in a position of comfort and wait for help to arrive. 

5. Sunburns

Not all sunburns require a trip to the hospital, however, there were nearly 34,000 emergency room visits in the U.S. due to serious sunburns, according to recent research in Dermatology.

The initial treatment for sunburn is to apply cool running water over the affected site.  Monitor the affected area for blistering, especially if it covers a large portion of the body.  If you are unsure of the severity of sunburn, visit your local hospital or doctor.

Signs and symptoms may include, pinkness or redness, skin that feels warm or hot to the touch, pain, tenderness and itching, swelling, small fluid-filled blisters, which may break; along with headache, fever, nausea, and fatigue if the sunburn is severe.

Want to learn more on how to be prepared?

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