The providers at Righttime Medical Care see different types of injuries in the autumn than in the warmer months. The season we call ‘fall’ may very well have an appropriate name. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, unintentional falls are the primary reason for urgent care and emergency visits. They also account for many concussions. And seasonal injuries don’t just affect children, but can impact everyone, including seniors.
Beginning a new school year doesn’t just bring new germs. Accidents in the hallways, playground falls, and tripping on the school bus are just a few ways children are vulnerable to being hurt at school. “Most injuries we see on school grounds come from recess time,” says Dr. Robert G. Graw, CEO of Righttime Medical Care and HeadFirst Sports Injury and Concussion Care. “Sometimes children don’t play with others of the same physical size or maturity, and other times a simple fall from a swing can lead to broken or sprained wrists, elbows, and ankles.”
Encourage children to always be aware of their surroundings and report potential hazards, such as backpacks on floors, wet cafeteria floors, and loose or broken playground equipment, to an adult. Also be sure children play with others their same size to avoid accidents.
Undoubtedly, fall is the busiest time for pre-teens and teenagers, many of whom are engaged in team sports or are active recreationally. Soccer has been exploding in popularity, while student athletes also enjoy other fall and winter activities like football, volleyball, basketball, cheerleading, and wrestling.
Of course, these activities also pose a risk for injuries, many of which occur during practice when safety considerations may not be as high. As with falls, concussions remain a top concern. “Sports are a wonderful opportunity for children to bond, learn teamwork, and get plenty of exercise,” Dr. Graw says, “but recent publicity has certainly heightened awareness for concussions and other types of injuries. With any type of injury on the field or in the gym, it’s critical to remove the player immediately and have the injury evaluated a trained medical provider.”
The arrival of autumn inspires many to clean house, including decorating the home for upcoming holidays. However, hanging decorations can cause more than a tangled mess of lights. Many outdoor chores involve bending and reaching at awkward angles, using muscles that may not usually get as much exercise.
“In the autumn, many people do fall chores, which can involve gutter cleaning, window washing, tree trimming, and general home improvements before the winter weather arrives,” says Dr. Graw, “Unfortunately, this also means at Righttime that we treat people for injuries who have fallen off ladders, tripped down steps, and strained back muscles from activities.” Remember to always use a ladder on stable ground, preferably an A-frame model, and be aware of the limitations of muscles that don’t get as much use in daily life. Take frequent breaks from challenging chores and, when necessary, leave the tough jobs to professionals.
Falls and trips often involve secondary injuries that can even be more severe. From scraped hands and arms to head injuries, safety must remain the primary concern, regardless of an individual’s age or type of activity. If you or a loved one has had a seasonal injury, play it safe by visiting the medical professionals at a Righttime Care Center near you.