May 30, 2023 6:52 am

CINCINNATI (WKRC) – Ahead of Memorial Day weekend, burn specialists and emergency room workers are warning families that the unofficial start of summer tends to up the odds of injuries.

From sun damage to firing up the grill, summer is a busy season for accidents that could potentially send a person to the emergency room.

When it comes to grilling, Dr. Julia Slater says, many people try to rush things.

“We see two different injuries. We either see that someone tried to put some type of accelerant to get their flame up higher and it’ll flash back in their face and cause a burn, or we see either children were running around, or someone that was doing a lot of tasks at once accidentally touched the grill or around the grill and they get a contact burn from touching a hot spot,” said Dr. Slater, the medical director of UC Medical Center’s Burn Center.

She says other sources of burn hazards include home fireworks and sunburn — though that’s usually managed outside the emergency room.

“Sunscreen is your best friend here. Fortunately, in our burn unit itself, it’s very rare we’d have to admit a sunburn, but they’re painful and they can sort of keep you away from good activities for quite a while,” Dr. Slater said.

Biking injuries are another common summer hazard, which is why helmets are so critical, especially for kids.

Finally, West Nile virus and other illnesses are transmitted by mosquitoes. To reduce the odds of attracting mosquitoes, families may want to change the soap they use.

A study from researchers at Virginia Tech uncovered that mosquitoes prefer fruit and flower-scented soaps, and don’t like coconut-scented soap as much.

The study also found that how much mosquitoes prefer a scent depends on how it interacts with a person’s natural body odor.

Researchers say about 60 percent of how people smell comes from the soap they use, and about 40 percent is from their natural scent.

Bug spray and bug repellent clothing can also help reduce the odds of mosquito bites.