AUSTIN -- Summertime fun can also mean summer injuries for many. Central Texas doctors, dental practitioners and safety advocates all say that being alert in your surroundings and aware of what to do in times of crisis are key elements in making summer fun.
Doctors with Scott and White Hospital in Round Rock say they have seen an increase in outdoor related injuries. Among the highest incidents of injuries, trips and falls causing wrist fracture.
“I have seen more injuries related to being outdoors. I had a patient who got caught in a big wave in S. Padre over the weekend and twisted an ankle and fractured it,” said Dr. Yoon Sin Kim, D.O. Family Medicine.
Other injuries doctors are seeing are landing families at the dentist’s office.
"We see an increase in emergency dental cases during the hotter months," said Dr. Chad Denman, co-owner of Family Tree Dental Group which operates in Round Rock and Austin. "We recommend anyone playing a sport to wear a mouth guard, but many don't or aren't aware of the importance. When mouth-related injuries can't be prevented, we encourage swift action on the part of the patient or their parents in order to minimize damage."
If you happen to knock out a tooth doctors say to pick it up by the crown, not the root. Denman says to place the tooth in a glass with milk or salt water and bring it to your dental appointment. For crowns that slip off dentists say to buy denture adhesive from a pharmacy and apply a small amount before placing the crown back on.
For pain relief Dr Denman says to Use a Q-tip with clove oil to apply to the sensitive area.
Water safety is also a big concern for many. And for children under five years of age it is a matter of life and death.
“Drowning is the leading cause of death for kids under age five,” Stephanie Hebert, M.Ed., CHES, the injury prevention coordinator at Dell Children’s and the Safe Kids Austin coordinator said. “In Central Texas last year, we saw 43 drownings or near-drownings.”
Sara Rider who has been working with physicians and hospitals in Austin for a while says drowning is the third leading cause of injury-related death among children ages 14 and under. That’s according to research she found from Safe Kids USA.
“Within this group, children under the age of five account for 76 percent of fatalities. In addition to the loss of life from drowning, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that more than half of near-drowning victims that are treated in emergency departments can require hospitalization,”
According to the CDC, long-term effects of a near-drowning can include severe brain damage, Rider says, which may result in long-term disabilities.