TULSA, Okla. — Now that summer is here, many people are spending more time outdoors. Doctors say with more outdoor activity, there is a greater risk of injuries especially since many of us have been inactive during the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, before adults get back on the bike or lace up their running shoes, physicians at Tulsa ER & Hospital advise people to see their doctor first.
"Get evaluated by your primary care doctor. It's probably time for a physical," Mark Blubaugh, D.O., Medical Director, Tulsa ER & Hospital said. "You probably have not had much face-to-face time with your primary care doctor, so I would definitely like for you to get a medical evaluation first."
With years spent treating patients in hospital emergency rooms, Dr. Blubaugh sees all kinds of cases. Dislocations, broken bones, concussions, patients seek treatment for a wide variety of ailments. However, he advises parents, a child's injury often does not show up in the same manner as an adult. He warns parents it is not always clearly noticeable when a child breaks a bone.
"They may actually get what we call a buckle fracture where their bone kind of bends more than it breaks. They're still able to use it, so the parent may not suspect a fracture. But I will say, if it is still hurting the child the next day, then it is probably time to get them evaluated," Dr. Blubaugh added.
If the patient cannot move the injured arm or leg or bear weight on the limb, it is time to go to the hospital.
"It is probably time to come to the emergency department to rule out a more serious injury like a fracture or possibly even a dislocation."
Whatever sport is chosen, Dr. Blubaugh said to take it slow especially since we haven't been physical for quite some time. Ease back into your favorite activity and don't forget these basics:
- Wear sunscreen
- Check your equipment
"These are the things people don't think about." Dr. Blubaugh said. "All they think about it, 'Hey, I'm going to go do this physical activity and let's get it done but they might not think about the other things that come along with being outdoors.'"
Doctor Blubaugh also suggests, with Covid-19 cases on the rise again, be cautious when you go somewhere crowded whether it is indoors or outdoors. In addition, be sure you are fully vaccinated, and wear a mask as a precaution when needed.
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