Common Summer Injuries Occurring in Kids

by | Jul 21, 2023


As an experienced chiropractor, one of my passions is helping families maintain their children’s health, especially during the exciting but injury-prone summer season. In twenty-plus years I’ve seen it all. Some of the most common summer injuries occurring in kids are easy to recognize and often not serious. Here’s how to recognize, manage, and know when to seek professional medical treatment.

1. Sprains and Strains

When kids are out running, jumping, and playing, sprains and strains are practically a summertime rite of passage. While sprains involve injury to the ligaments (the tissues connecting two bones), strains refer to injuries to the muscles or tendons.

In a game of soccer or climbing trees, a child might sprain an ankle or strain a muscle. Signs include pain, swelling, and difficulty using the affected area. If the child can move the injured body part without severe pain, at-home care with rest, ice, compression, and elevation (known as the RICE method) may suffice.

However, if the child cannot move the injured area, or if symptoms persist beyond a few days, it’s time to consult your primary care provider or chiropractor. Persistent pain or disability could indicate a more severe injury, such as a fracture or a significant sprain or strain requiring specialized care.


2. Cuts and Scrapes

Summertime means more outdoor play and, unfortunately, more opportunities for cuts and scrapes. Common causes include falls from bikes, skateboards, or scooters.

Most minor wounds can be treated at home by cleaning the area with warm water and soap, applying an antibiotic ointment, and covering it with a clean bandage.

If the cut is deep, continues to bleed despite applied pressure, or if there is debris in the wound, seek immediate medical attention. An unusually painful or swollen wound, or one accompanied by fever, could signify an infection requiring medical treatment.


3. Sunburns

Too much sun can lead to painful sunburns, one of the most common summer injuries, including in adults. Signs include red, painful, and occasionally blistered skin.

Prevention is key here, so apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen SPF 30 or higher and reapply every two hours. If sunburn does occur, cool baths, aloe vera, and over-the-counter pain relievers can help soothe the skin.

However, severe sunburn characterized by extensive blistering, fever, chills, severe pain, or dehydration is a cause for concern. In such cases, reach out to your healthcare provider promptly.

4. Dehydration and Heat Exhaustion

Kids often forget to hydrate adequately during their summer fun, which can lead to dehydration or heat exhaustion. Symptoms include fatigue, dizziness, confusion, extreme thirst, and decreased urination.

To treat mild dehydration, have your child rest in a cool place and rehydrate with water or a sports drink.

If symptoms persist, or if they include fainting, severe diarrhea or vomiting, or a temperature above 103°F, seek immediate medical help. These could be signs of severe dehydration or heat stroke, potentially life-threatening conditions.

5. Fractures and Dislocations

Whether it’s from a trampoline mishap or a fall from a bike, fractures, and dislocations are common summer injuries.

Fractures can cause intense pain, swelling, bruising, and sometimes a visible deformity. If you suspect a fracture, stabilize the area if possible and seek immediate medical attention.

Similarly, dislocations—when a bone is forced out of its joint—require prompt medical treatment. Signs include visible deformity, intense pain, swelling, and inability to move the joint.


When to Visit a Chiropractor

When it comes to sprains, strains, or recovery following a fracture or dislocation, a chiropractor is an excellent resource for your child. They can help restore normal function, reduce pain and swelling, and guide your child in exercises to rebuild strength and flexibility.

If your child has persistent pain or discomfort after a summer injury, or if they are not regaining normal movement and function as quickly as expected, a visit to a chiropractor might be beneficial.

As always, prevention is the best medicine. Supervise your kids, ensure they wear appropriate protective gear, apply sunscreen, and encourage regular hydration. And remember, even with the best precautions, accidents happen. Be prepared, stay informed, and enjoy a safe, healthy summer season with your little ones.

Remember, you know your child best. If something doesn’t seem right, it’s always better to err on the side of caution and consult a healthcare professional. Enjoy your summer safely!



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Dr. William McKenna

Dr. William McKenna


Dr.William McKenna has been a Chiropractor for over 20 years in Westchester and Dutchess County, helping his patients to achieve greater health and live more active lifestyles. He is the founder of McKenna Family Chiropractic located in Pelham, NY, and Dutchess Braincore Therapy and Wellness Center located in Hopewell Junction, NY. He graduated from Life University in 1999 and has been advocating for better health, naturally, since. Dr. Will believes a smile is the first step in healing and building valued relationships with his patients. Book Appointment

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