Summer is all fun and games until someone gets hurt. Whether you’re on vacation or hanging out at the park, a hand injury could occur and ruin your day. Before you get too excited about celebrating the weather, make sure you know the hazards involved and how to protect yourself from becoming injured.
If you suffer a hand injury, Nebraska Orthopaedic Center is here to help you through it. We can evaluate you and treat you in a timely manner in order to get you back to doing what you love – enjoying summer.
Risks to Watch Out For
Lawnmowers are your best friend during the summer, but they don’t mix well with hands. If a lawnmower is not balanced, driving up a slope, or tipping over, it can be at risk of crushing your hands, arms, or other body parts. Hand injuries can occur if you try to sharpen lawn mower blades on your own. It can lead to tendon lacerations and the potential to lose a finger.
Clearing rocks or other debris from the underside of the mower can cause you to inadvertently activate the blades, leading to lacerations or even amputations. Before you access the blades of a lawnmower, ensure the mower is turned off and always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for lawn mower maintenance.
Gardening gloves are big and bulky for a reason. They provide extra layers of protection in case your hand accidentally slips while clipping the bushes. Always make sure you’re wearing your gardening gloves to help protect yourself from stones, thorns, glass, and sharp blades.
Before each use, make sure your tools have the proper safety mechanisms and that they are working properly. Having these safety measures in place will also help prevent children from using your tools without proper guidance.
Nowadays, most grills are electric, but if you have a charcoal grill, use long-handled lighters or flint to light the coals. Getting too close to an open flame can lead to hand burns. Never try to remove food with your bare hands or a dinner fork. Use proper grilling utensils that will keep your hands clear from any open flames.
Sharp knives are much more useful than dull knives, but they come with a higher risk. A sharp knife can slip and slice your hand or fingers causing lacerations to the tendons. Before you cut any item, make sure it is secured down with grips so it won’t move while cutting.
Round fruits such as watermelons or cantaloupe should have the ends cut off so it can lay flat across your cutting service. This reduces the possibility for them to roll in the middle of slicing, therefore reducing the chance of your knife slicing your hand.
Always cut away from your body and use the right size knife depending on what you’re cutting.
Fireworks and Sparklers
Fireworks can be fun for the whole family and the safest way to handle fireworks is to let trained professionals use them. Improper handling of fireworks can lead to severe burns, broken hands, and/or amputations. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 50% of firework injuries come from children and adults under the age of 20.
Even after the 4th of July is gone, there is still a danger when using fireworks. Sparklers may seem like a “safe” Summertime activity, but they burn at more than 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit. If not handled properly, there is a potential for burns on the hands, arms, legs, or other body parts.
When Should You Seek Care?
Minor injuries can happen all Summer long and the majority can be handled with a proper home first aid kit. When do you know if it’s time to see an orthopaedic doctor?
- If the pain is worse than something you’ve ever experienced
- The pain doesn’t subside on its own
- You heard an audible pop during the injury
- You cannot move the injured hand, finger or wrist or arm
If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, it may be time to see an orthopaedic doctor.
Come to Nebraska Orthopaedic Center
Hand injuries can sometimes require more than just a little bit of home first aid. When that’s the case, let the professionals at Nebraska Orthopaedic Center handle everything. From diagnosis to the treatment you can count on us to help get you back to doing what you love.