Summer; Trauma Season in the USA

July 10, 2015 | J. Price McNamara
Summer; Trauma Season in the USA

Ah, summer. You’re finally here. The blessed season of ice cream truck, screaming children, BBQ’s and crowded beaches. Really, what’s not to love? But seriously, all joking aside, something many people are not aware of is what summer is referred to in trauma centers and hospitals across the nation; trauma season. Trauma can often mean hefty hospital bills and court battles. That being said, we thought we’d share a little about the most common injuries sustained during the summer by people just for your personal information. So try and keep this article in mind when doing a handstand on the jet ski you rented, while going 30 mph, seems like a good idea. Trauma Season Summer can be a hazardous season for people’s health. While this fact is true for the adults who have access to alcohol, recreational vehicles, and a tendency to say “Hey ya’ll, watch this!” summer can be especially dangerous for kids. Insert “Think of the children!” line here… Anyways, your kids are out of school now. We know...try and contain your excitement (sarcasm). But in reality summer means no school, hours of free time, and the extra hours of daylight aiding children in their seemingly never-ending quests to break all of your nice things or themselves. So here’s the bottom line folks. We love our kids and their energy. In fact many of us wish we could siphon some of it out of them and use it for ourselves. That being said, we are never going to stop them from scraping their knees, tripping in gopher holes and falling out of trees to land on their faces. Hoping to do so is impossible. However, what’s not impossible is making sure they wear protective gear like helmets and elbow pads while they are hurtling down the neighborhood's tallest hill on their scooters and roller blades. That way, when they reach the bottom, realize that physics did not take the summer off along with them, and crash into your neighbor's trashcans or mailbox, they will be protected… as best they can be anyways. Dr. Dennis Durbin, an attending physician in the emergency department at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia puts it best when he states “Sometimes parents overestimate their children’s capabilities, and in doing so, may inadvertently put them into a situation with an increased risk of injury.” In other words, unless your nine-year-old in some sort of physical prodigy, accept the fact that kids are clumsy and they are going to fall. So be prepared when they do. Now For You Big Kids Adults often overdo it in summer as well. In fact, adult trauma cases leap a staggering 25 to 30 percent in the summer months according to Louis Alarcon, medical director of trauma at UPMC Presbyterian. As you might expect, adults tend to have more “grown up” injuries. By “grown up” we mean face palm worthy “Oh man, I can’t believe I just poured gasoline over the bonfire. Why did I do that?” or “Attempting to clean the gutters on the roof while no one else was home wasn’t the best idea,” types of injuries. Bearing this in mind, it’s pretty clear that the most commonly seen injuries in adults during summer are  various types of burns and broken bones from falls. Actually, come to think of it, they’re not all that different from the ones kids receive. Ok, so we’re all pretty much a bunch of kids during the summer. And that’s fine. Just do what you can to protect yourself. Stay hydrated to avoid heat stroke, wear sunscreen, and for goodness sake do not drink and drive. Other than that, get out there and make some memories folks! To all our weekend warriors, BBQ masters, party animals, amateur “pro” athletes and stubborn handymen, we wish you the best of luck this summer. If you do manage to get hurt and need a personal injury attorney...Well, we’ll be here if you need us. Godspeed, friends.  

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J. Price McNamara


Losing my own brother, then my father and sister after long, disabling illnesses just a few months apart drove a career change for me. Before that experience, I never truly understood the place you’re in. I never understood the dramatic impact that receiving (or not receiving) the disability and life insurance benefits you paid for and counted on can have on your life especially when you need to focus on family and healing. What I experienced with my own family now drives the way I view my clients and my work, and I will never forget it!

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