Sometimes You Need More Than Sunscreen

It’s summertime and the first thing on your big to-do list is getting busy having fun. Or maybe it’s that special time of year when you and your family venture out to vacation at a surfing beach to avoid the winter blues. Often, the only preventative care most families partake in is the traditional sunscreen slather. After all, skin cancer is no joke. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends a sunscreen brand that provides broad-spectrum protection, water/sweat resistance, and an SPF of at least 30. California sports nearly 840 miles of coastline, which tourists and residents take advantage of as they sail, surf, and soak up the sun’s rays. However, in the midst of all this fun, the last thing someone wants to find themselves doing is going to urgent care for back pain after a nasty surfing or parasailing accident. Thankfully, there’s more than just lifeguards and sunscreen on duty when an unfortunate event threatens to end the fun in the sun.

Always Prepared

Perhaps you’re one of the many Americans that believe that bad things only happen to other people, but unfortunately, nothing could be further from the truth. If you are having an unlucky day in particular, you could be one of the 88,620 people rescued from the sandy shores in 2016 alone, according to the United States Lifesaving Association’s National Lifesaving Statistics. Swimming and surfing can get exhausting, and a tired individual partaking in water sports may experience life-threatening injuries. Swimmers get carried away when they are out in the water and may find themselves drifting further from shore than they anticipated. Medical personnel witness more than just innocent surfers going to urgent care for back pain, they see a myriad of leg injuries which are the most common among surfers (46%), followed by head and face injuries (26%), followed by trunk or back injuries (13%).

Whether striking themselves against a rock dashing their limbs against the ground underfoot in an attempt at regaining footing, it certainly comes as no surprise as to why surfing injuries are so common. Sports Medicine Australia reports that there are approximately 2.2 injuries per 1,000 surfing days which is equivalent to 0.26 injuries per surfer per year. It’s not just surfing that can be dangerous, volleyball accidents are a common beach injury as well. Some don’t expect to get a sports injury when they are not playing competitively, however, approximately 63% of all volleyball injuries are related to jumping. Once again, if you’re not careful, you might find yourself going to urgent care for back pain and concussions you never anticipated. In fact, concussions are more common than you might think. The CDC reports that there were roughly 3,800,000 concussions reported in 2012.

So how can you stay safe on your get-away? The best method to avoid accidents is to use preventative measures. Ensure the beach or bay you surf within does not contain large jagged rocks. Don’t spike balls aggressively at the volleyball court, and of course, wear generous amounts of sunscreen. When all else fails, be familiar with the location and proximity of urgent care centers in the locale. Approximately 60 percent of all urgent care centers have a wait time of fewer than 15 minutes to visit a physician, and 65 percent have one on site all the time. The last place and time you want to be considering where to get stitches for your gaping wound are where and when it happens. Be prepared, and have a map or pre-programmed GPS with providers in your immediate area. While walk-in clinics are not experts in life-threatening emergency care, it is just as easy to find an Emergency Room ready to accommodate your needs. After all, the CDC confirms there are about 37.2 million injury-related visits to the ER every year. Of course, this statistic does not specify as to whether or not some of these individuals should have been going to urgent care for back pain, but it is better to be safe than sorry at times. Please make every effort to ensure you and your family are safe this year!