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Hot summer weather brings more injuries

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Just about everyone is happy the sun is out and the weather is nice, as us Minnesotans prepare to take advantage of our short break from winter.

But as more people head outdoors for high-energy activities this summer, more people also find themselves injured and at the ER.

“Summertime is the worst time of the year for injury, and our trauma numbers go way up,” says Donald Jenkins, M.D., a trauma and injury prevention expert at Mayo Clinic.

Jenkins says there are about 30,000 admission to hospitals in Minnesota due to injury every year, and the majority of them happen in the three summer months.

"We see many injuries related to boating, ATVs and motocross," he says. "People are getting outdoors, doing high energy activities and they really need to take a moment and think about safety before doing an activity and take some preventive measures.”

He also spoke with ABC 6 News, saying that just one night in Rochester this past week, six trauma patients were admitted with severe injuries – many because of riding recreational vehicles without protective gear.

That's similar to what Dr. Andrew Zinkler, an emergency room physician at Regions Hospital tells WCCO. Zinkler highlighted injuries to children as one of the problem areas, and also mentioned water and fire safety.

Particular Injuries Go Up

The types of injuries that tend to rise in the summer are often very specific.

Some are expected. For example, ATV injuries tend to peak during summer months. From 2004-2006, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission found deaths related to ATV riding rose starting in March. An on average, from 2004-2010, there were almost 700 ATV-related fatalities each year, and about 136,000 injuries that required medical attention.

Some are less predictable.

U.S. News reported child eye injuries increased during the summer, rising in May and June before peaking in July. The reason? Often it's swimming, where chemicals and flailing limbs can irritate or smack a kid's eyeball.

And years ago, ABC News found that scooter injuries shot way up during the summer. One year, the fold-up scooters sent nearly 9,500 Americans to the emergency room. And the year prior, about 100,000 people were hurt while using inline skates, ABC News reported.

Prevention

Experts at the Mayo Clinic offered a number of tips to help you have an injury-free summer. They urge you to be cautious with things like fireworks and pesticides, and suggest you avoid cliff diving.

The site Prevention.com has a list of nine sneaky summer injuries, plus tips on how to avoid them. Among the dangers: lawn mowing injuries, worse hangovers (extreme heat does dehydrate you quicker) and bug bites.

In general, many of the sources advise simply being wary and being prepared.

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