Boating, swimming, fishing and other water sports are popular summertime pursuits but can sometimes have the potential for danger. Here are some tips for dealing with injuries from water activities.

Swimming problems. According to the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine, most swimming injuries involve the shoulders, back, hips or knees, depending on the individual’s stroke. Treatment recommendations from the AOSSM include cutting back on repetitive strokes contributing to overuse, core-strengthening and cross-training exercises, rest periods, alternative training techniques (instead of training through an injury) and consulting a sports medicine professional or athletic trainer.

swimmerTreating wounds from swimming, boating, fishing and other water activities often requires special expertise.

Open wounds and water. Livestrong.com advises you not to swim in any body of water if you have an open wound because you risk infecting the wound. Rivers, lakes and oceans can be contaminated with bacteria from numerous sources (and some germs can even last a long time in salt water). Not only that, you could also infect other swimmers with germs from your wound. Complications from a recreational water illness include gastrointestinal, respiratory, neurological, skin or ear infections.

Removing fish hooks. American Family Physician says most fish hook injuries are minor and can be treated in a doctor’s office with minimal problems or surgical procedures. The first step is determining the exact type of hook used. Next, you should clean the wound with an antiseptic like iodopovidone, irrigating with saline solution if needed, and then administer local anesthesia before removing the hook. American Family Physician recommends several removal techniques; depending on the type of hook, one or more of these might be necessary. After removal, apply antibiotic ointment and a simple dressing. A tetanus booster shot may also be required if more than five years have passed since your last one.

Motorboat propeller injuries. The Journal of Trauma & Treatment warns that bacterial contamination could complicate treatment in some cases because signs of infection may not be visible when the wound is first inspected. According to JT&T research, 46% of patients developed infections, some of which were serious enough to warrant amputation. Following surgical procedures and hospitalization, JT&T said the usual course of treatment includes multiple antibiotics, frequent irrigation and removal of damaged or dead tissue.

As you recover from injuries like these, it’s a good idea to talk with your doctor about smartPAC by Advanced Tissue to get prescribed wound care supplies delivered to your front door, giving you all the tools to promote wound healing at home.