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Have a Blast With the Family This Summer, but Stay Safe

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Posted: Tuesday, July 22, 2014 6:29 am | Updated: 1:36 am, Wed Aug 13, 2014.

(NewsUSA) - Summertime. It's the time of year to put your feet up, relax and have a little fun. So, why not make it a little safer for the whole family?

The following tips can help keep everyone healthy and injury-free -- and, with any luck, away from the doctor's office:

* Handle vacation baggage with caution. Be careful handling your luggage. There were more than 75,500 luggage-related injuries in 2013 alone. To avoid luggage-related injury and pain, keep your body straight when lifting and carrying luggage -- do not twist. Instead, point your toes in the direction you are headed, and then turn your entire body in that direction. Also, only use luggage that is sturdy and light weight with wheels and a handle.

* Dive into summer safety. Diving and swimming is a popular summer activity for many families and their children, but it does carry some risk.

"Swimming and diving injuries are most common among children, 17 or younger," says A. Jay Khanna, MD, American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) spokesperson and orthopedic surgeon. "For that reason, it's important to equip kids with the proper safety precautions at an early age."

The AAOS suggests that individuals never dive into above-ground pools or into water that isn't clear -- where sand bars or objects below the surface may not be seen. As for swimming, never swim alone, always swim in supervised areas, and avoid rip currents.

* Follow the rules of the road while biking. More than 80 million Americans enjoy cycling because it's an environmentally efficient way to get around, a great form of exercise and a fun activity for the whole family. However, according to 2013 statistics from the Consumer Product Safety Commission, bike-related injuries were the reason for more than 1.3 million visits to hospitals, emergency rooms and doctors' offices.

To avoid being a statistic, always wear a helmet and ride in the direction of traffic. Also, don't listen to music with headphones, talk on your phone, text or do anything else that would distract you while riding.

* Beware of bouncing. Jumping on a trampoline is a favorite pastime among kids because of the thrill that comes with it. Unfortunately, it also carries risks. The most common injuries are sprains and fractures that result from falls on the mat, falls on the frame or springs, collisions with another jumper and falls off the trampoline, according to the AAOS. To protect kids, trampolines should not be used for unsupervised recreational activity.

For more information and safety tips this summer, visit OrthoInfo.org.

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