Orthopaedics Follow These 8 Tips to Prevent Common Summer Injuries By UPMC Orthopaedic Care, July 1, 2017 Whether you’re working in the yard or just enjoying the warm weather with family and friends, you can prevent a trip to the doctor’s office this summer with these eight safety tips from the experts at UPMC Orthopaedic Care. For more information from orthopaedic care experts, visit UPMC.com/Ortho, or call 1-866-987-ORTHO (6784) to make an appointment. Safety Tips to Prevent Summer Injuries Use proper tools while gardening Knee pain, back pain, and related injuries can result from kneeling, squatting, or bending while gardening. Try using a stool, tools with extensions or long handles, or consider raised planters to protect your back and knees. Warm-up before physical activity Summer picnics are a popular time for games of kickball, softball, and volleyball. Take the time to stretch and warm-up properly, and rest and recover between rounds. Preparing your body for physical activity can help prevent injuries. Wear a helmet while riding a bike You can help prevent head injuries by wearing a properly-fitted helmet. Do not dive in shallow water Diving into shallow water can result in spinal cord injuries. Make sure you always know how deep the water is before diving. If you don’t know, don’t dive. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate Heat-related illness, especially heat stroke, is preventable. Begin hydrating before you head outdoors or engage in a physical activity. Remember to continue drinking water throughout the day. Keep your hands away from the blades of a lawn mower Thousands of people show up in emergency rooms each year with injuries they sustained while using a lawn mower. Spinning blades can cause injuries, such as fractures and lacerations. Always take special care when operating lawn mowers and other machinery. Protect your feet Flip flops are perfect for the pool, but can often cause arch and heel strains because they offer little to no support. Find a flip flop that has arch support and limit your time wearing them. Practice your swing Golf is a popular recreational sport, but also a common cause of back, shoulder, and elbow injuries due to poor swing mechanics and overuse. Consider taking lessons with a golf pro to improve your form, and rest when your muscles and joints are sore.