For many throughout the Coastal Bend, water recreation is a major part of summertime fun during the warmer months.
Those traditional activities often can lead to tragedy. As thousands flock to our area breaches every year, drownings and over exposure to the sun are two of the top reasons for emergency room visits at area hospitals and clinics. A physician and a nurse Practitioner has ways to avoid the dangers of summertime fun.
"Supervision is extremely important especially out in the ocean for spring break. You want to have a buddy system and have someone keeping an eye on you," Conrado Cantu, an Emergency Physician with Corpus Christi Medical Center, said.
Cantu says as more people make their way to area beaches and enjoy water recreation, one of the top reasons for ER visits include drownings. Being alert is key to survival.
"The most common demographic of the people who are drowning are the younger generation," Cantu said.
Those are children 1-5 years old, according to the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services. But those most at rick, aren't children at all.
"If you want to get into some risk factors for drownings, people more at risk are people who are drinking alcohol and who are over confident in the swimming ability," Cantu said.
But Drowning isn't the only danger lurking as beach goers head out into the waters.
"One of the more common ones would be sunburn," Bina Patel, a Nurse Practitioner with CVS said. "We see a lot of patients coming in with moderate to sever sunburns."
Patel says in some cases, overexposure to the sun’s rays could lead to needing prescribed medicine to treat severe symptoms.
"Depending on the severity of the sunburn we can prescribe prescription cortisone cream or maybe sometimes oral steroids to help with inflammation," Patel said.
For over the counter solutions, Patel recommends using aloe gel with lidocaine for a soothing topical solution for sunburn relief.
The number of people visiting the area increases, and so will the need for care. Using sunscreen and staying hydrated can be the difference between enjoying the sun and getting too much.
Orthopedic injuries, including broken bones, cuts and sprains, dehydration and burns from hot grills, backyard fire pits, sparklers and fireworks, round out the top five reasons for emergency room visits during Spring Break and the summer months.