Have you given enough thought to summer safety? The cold temperatures of winter often increase the risk for fall-related injuries, according to a report by the World Health Organization. This doesn’t mean you should lower your guard when the weather gets warmer, though. Summer poses its own risks for seniors.
Summer Safety Hazards
The ice and snow may have melted, but the risk for falls doesn’t disappear when spring arrives. Here are five fall risks you may face this summer, and how to avoid them:
1. Don’t get overheated. Heat-related illnesses and dehydration are leading causes of summer falls, and seniors are at an increased risk. Both conditions can lead to dizziness and disorientation, and falls often follow. Prevent overheating by drinking enough water and planning outdoor activities in the morning or evening hours.
2. The weather isn’t all sunshine. The Ohio Department of Aging warns seniors that it’s not only ice and snow that lead to falls. Spring and summer bring a lot of rain and mud, which can lead to slippery surfaces. Thunderstorms can also scatter your yard with branches that become tripping hazards. Remain inside during severe weather and pick up any items in your yard as soon as possible to prevent falls.
3. You’re more likely to be active outside. You’re probably mostly familiar with the terrain inside your home. Once you’re outdoors, though, all bets are off. When the weather is nice, you’re going to spend more time outdoors. Pay attention to incline changes, watch for holes, and beware of tripping hazards to reduce your risk of falling.
4. More water-related activities means more slipping hazards. Pay more attention to where you’re stepping in the summer, in case water has been tracked indoors. A tile floor at the gym can become a fall hazard when children track water inside from the pool. With increased rain chances, you may also find puddles inside your favorite restaurant or grocery store.
5. Wearing the wrong shoes. Winter requires warm boots, many of which feature slip-resistant soles. In summer, backless sandals, flip-flops, and shoes with leather soles all come into fashion. These shoes can all increase your fall risk. Instead, stick to running shoes or other rubber-soled shoes that offer support.
Summer brings its own safety hazards, and it pays to be aware of them. Being proactive can save you a lot of pain and suffering. Fall prevention efforts and other summer safety measures are critical for staying safe and healthy while the weather is warm.