<< Back

Don’t Let These 8 Hazards Ruin Your Summer Fun

July 17, 2023

Ah, summertime! The season of sunshine, outdoor adventures and good times with family and friends. But while we all love to soak up the sun, it’s also important to prioritize safety to avoid any summer health hazards.

“Everyone is outside being more active, so related injuries and illnesses become more common in the summer months,” says Anthony Sampino, DO, a Hartford HealthCare Medical Group family medicine specialist in Oxford.

Here are a few common injuries to watch out for so you and your loved ones can stay safe while enjoying what summer has to offer.

Connect with a primary care physician

Start hereCall 866.592.2450

What are the most common summer health hazards?

The variety of fun possibilities equals a wide range of potential summer hazards to avoid, Dr. Sampino continues. Top injuries he sees are:

  1. Sports-related. “People are excited to get back out and – whether they over- or under-train, fail to warm up properly or have a simple accident – some end up injured,” he says.
  2. Flip-flop feet. Although stressing “there is nothing inherently wrong with intermittent flip-flop use,” Dr. Sampino says wearing the flat thongs too much can leave you with sore feet. Flip-flops have little to no support so the arch of your foot must overcompensate when walking, he explains. There’s also no ankle support, which could lead to a sprain. Instead, he suggests choosing a sandal, shoe or sneaker with good support to help prevent pain and discomfort.
  3. Barefoot booboos. When it heats up, we shed our shoes, but Dr. Sampino suggests care if walking barefoot outdoors. “Our foot developed for efficiency in slow-paced, long-distance running over many kinds of terrain, which was helpful when humans were hunter-gatherers. Going barefoot may feel more natural, but it exposes you to potential injuries you can avoid by covering up with footwear,” he notes.
  4. Yard work mishaps. There’s always news stories about homeowners who stick a hand in the lawn mower to unclog moving blades, but there are more ways you can be injured exercising your green thumb. “I recommend wearing covering clothing like gloves, shoes and even long sleeves and long pants to protect the skin,” Dr. Sampino says.
  5. Spoiled food. Any time you’re eating outdoors – on the deck, at the beach or in a park – take note of when foods with egg, dairy or fish come out of the refrigerator or ice-packed cooler. Bacteria causing food poisoning can grow in as little as one hour.
  6. BBQ bristles. Some wire brushes used to clean grills have reportedly left bristles behind on the grill where they can then transfer onto food and cause GI issue if eaten. Dr. Sampino suggests bristle-less brushes to avoid the risk.
  7. Drying up. Recommended water intake is eight 8-ounce glasses, or 2 liters, a day. In the heat or when exercising, you’ll need closer to 3 liters, Dr. Sampino says. “Keep plenty of water with you on hot days and drink it consistently to avoid dehydration,” he says, adding that coffee or tea actually work against you, causing you to lose more fluid than you take in. “They do not count toward your total daily fluids, so always replace it with at least the same amount of water.”
  8. Water hazards. Learning to swim is a great way for children and adults to become more comfortable in the water and better able to stay safe, he says.