The Top 4 Summer Injuries & How to Avoid Them   

The Top 4 Summer Injuries & How to Avoid Them

Kids Jumping Into Pool

We connected with our doctors and they shared the four most common reasons people come to urgent care in the summer: swimmer’s ear, heat stroke, tick bites and sunburn.

Follow these tips on how to stay healthy this summer.

Swimmer’s ear

Swimmer’s ear is a painful infection in the outer ear canal, caused by water entering and remaining in the ear.

Symptoms include:

  • Ears feel blocked or itchy.
  • Ear canal becomes red or swollen.
  • Milky fluid drains from your ear.
  • Ear is painful to the touch.

How to avoid swimmer’s ear:

  • Try to keep your ears as dry as possible.
    • Use earplugs when swimming.
  • After swimming or showering, tilt and shake your head gently to dislodge water. 
  • Use a hair dryer on low heat, hold it about 12 inches away from your ear, and blow warm air towards your ear.
  • If you are a frequent swimmer, talk to your health care provider about ear-drying drops, they may be an option for you.

If your ears feel clogged or painful, do not try to clean them yourself. Head to a local urgent care at the first sign of pain to avoid infection.

Heat stroke

Heat stroke is the most severe form of heat illness and is a life-threatening emergency. Heat stroke occurs when you have extreme exposure to the sun and are not able to sweat enough to cool down your body temperature. 

Symptoms include

  • A body temperature of 104°F (40°C) or higher
  • Confusion or trouble thinking clearly
  • Hallucinations
  • Trouble walking
  • Seizures
  • Passing out

How to avoid heat stroke: 

  • Drink plenty of fluids and stay hydrated during outdoor activities.
  • Bring an insulated water bottle with you when leaving the house.
  • Wear loose fitted clothing. 
  • Schedule outdoor activities during the morning or evening, for cooler parts of the day. 
  • Never leave children or pets in a closed car on a warm or sunny day. 

If you or a loved one is showing signs of heat stroke, head into an urgent care for evaluation. I.V. hydration may be necessary.

Tick bites

Whether you’re hiking or taking a walk in the park, spending time outside and in grassy areas brings the risk of tick bites.

Symptoms include: Rash, fever, fatigue, headache, muscle pain, joint swelling and pain.

How to avoid tick bites:

  • Avoid tall grasses. 
  • If you’re entering a wooded area or lawn, wear long pants and high socks. 
  • After spending time outdoors, remove clothes promptly and shower thoroughly.
  •  Spend extra time checking your body for ticks, especially your ankles, groin and behind your ears. 

If you do find a tick, if time allows, head into your local urgent care for removal as quickly as possible. Many urgent cares can send the tick out for testing to determine if it carries disease. 

If you are unable to get into an urgent care immediately, you can attempt to remove the tick yourself. The best thing to do is to take a pair of pointy tweezers, get as close to your skin as possible and grip the head area of the tick and then pull straight up, steadily but not with a jerking motion. The goal is to remove the entire tick, without leaving the head in your body. 

Avoid unconventional removal methods like holding a match to the tick’s body or pouring alcohol over the tick


While these tips are here to keep you from needing medical care and enjoying the warmer weather, it’s important to maintain safe practices while in the sun. 

Severe sunburn can include: blistering or swelling of the skin, fever, nausea, dehydration, headache, heat stroke or heat exhaustion.

How to avoid severe sunburn:

  • When possible, stay in the shade.
  • Avoid peak sun hours (10 a.m. to 2 p.m.)
  • Always wear sunscreen; SPF 30 or higher.
  • Wear a hat, sunglasses and protective clothing like long sleeved shirts and pants. 

If you have any severe sunburn symptoms, you should seek medical treatment. Urgent care treatment may include I.V. hydration and pain management through topical creams or oral medication.

Next Steps & Resources 

The material provided through HealthU is intended to be used as general information only and should not replace the advice of your physician. Always consult your physician for individual care.


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