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Avoid common Springtime injuries

Quarterly education, tips, and guidance from our Trauma Team

Spring is a wonderful time of year!  It is when everyone wants to get outside and enjoy the warmer weather.  Maybe you are considering a new outdoor project, contemplating when to get the crop in the ground, planning and preparing your garden, or just enjoying some outdoor activities.   Spring makes us think of new life, flowers, and rain showers.  However, spring can also be a common time for injuries.  OCAHS trauma team would like to help keep you safe while you do the things you enjoy.

Exercise and Sports

With spring comes outdoor activities such as running, golf, bike riding, soccer, or going for a walk.  No matter what activity you enjoy, take time to get back in shape.  Be sure to stretch well before and after these activities to avoid common injuries like sprains and strains.  Also, do not forget to use your helmets and other safety equipment when on your bikes or scooters.  Wear bright colored clothing with lights or reflective material if you will be out on the sidewalks, streets, or driveways.  Use extra caution while going around corners, past driveways, and always stop at the corners.  Be sure to wear appropriate shoes.  Avoid flip-flops when riding your bike, playing sports, or going for a walk.  Remember that interactions with other people and their dogs are more common this time of year.  Not all dogs are well socialized and the risk for dog bites increases.  Avoid approaching dogs or other pets that you do not know.

Yard Work, Gardening, and Field Work

If you are like most people, it is time to start cleaning up the yard.  We are thinking about what yard work needs to get done, what to plant in our gardens, what new flowers we want in the planters, or maybe even about getting out in the fields and getting the crop in.  These can be a common cause of injury because after a period of inactivity during the winter months we become very active.  This often leads to aches, pains, and muscle strains.  Ways to avoid this is to slowly return to activity to build up your endurance so you can enjoy doing these daily activities.  Also, remember to stretch before these activities.  Thinks like planting, raking, picking up sticks, lifting heavy objects, or mowing are repetitive and strenuous, so try to break up these activities to avoid tiring yourself out and pain. Other things to think about is wearing protective clothing such as gloves and protective eye wear.

Sun exposure and Severe Weather

Sometimes we forget how strong the sun really can be in the early spring, especially on the cloudy days.  Protect yourself by applying a broad-spectrum sunscreen, sunglasses, and hats.  Don’t forget to check the expiration date on your sunscreen, most are only good for 2 years!  Be sure to drink plenty of water and stay hydrated.  If you begin feeling overheated, find a cool place to rest and drink something with electrolytes in it, such as Powerade or Gatorade.  If possible, stay in the shade between 10am and 4pm.  Watch carefully for the weather to change.  If you hear thunder or see lightning go indoors immediately.  If there is a tornado warning, or you hear tornado sires, seek shelter immediately.

Car Accidents

Car accidents can also be more common this time of year.  Remember to constantly be watching for pedestrians.  Do not get distracted while you are driving.  Watch for changing weather.  The roads can still get icy this time of year.  Prevent accidents by staying alert at all times.  Give yourself some extra time to get to your destination.  Watch closely for farm equipment!  If you are in farm equipment make sure that your lights are working properly.  Only travel with oversized equipment during daylight.  Animals can be a threat to drivers in the spring, be especially careful for them during dusk and dawn.  Always drive sober.  Always wear your seatbelts.  Always secure children properly.

Be safe, have fun, and enjoy spring!