Five common tourist injuries to watch out for in Florida

Florida is one of the top tourist destinations in the United States, attracting 122.89 million visitors in 2023, with Miami the most popular city, thanks to 2.75 million visitors in 2022, closely followed by Orlando with 1.23 million visitors.

The warm weather and abundance of attractions make Florida a popular place to vacation. However, with so many tourists visiting each year, injuries are bound to happen. Here are 5 of the most common injuries tourists should watch out for when visiting Florida.

Florida is known for its sunny beaches and warm weather – the name ‘sunshine state’ is well-deserved thanks to an average of 237 sunny days each year. However, all that time spent under the intense Florida sun can easily lead to painful sunburns if proper precautions aren’t taken.

Use water-resistant sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30, reapply often, and seek shade during peak sun hours between 10am and 4pm. Sunburns can ruin a vacation and lead to long-term skin damage if repeated frequently.

Heat exhaustion
The combination of heat and humidity in Florida can quickly cause heat exhaustion if fluids and electrolytes are not replenished. Symptoms include dizziness, headache, nausea, heavy sweating, and cold, clammy skin.

Prevent heat exhaustion by staying hydrated, taking breaks in the shade or AC, wearing light clothing, and avoiding prolonged outdoor activity in the hottest part of the day. If symptoms start, get to a cool place, drink water, and use cooling towels until the symptoms pass.

Jellyfish stings
There are around 200,000 jellyfish stings reported each year in Florida. Florida’s warm coastal waters are home to a few species of jellyfish, including the Portuguese Man o’ War. These jellyfish have long, venomous tentacles. Brushing up against one can result in extremely painful stings, red marks, swelling, and even muscle cramps.

If you get stung, remove any tentacles, wash the sting with salt water, apply vinegar, and take OTC pain medication. Seek medical help for severe reactions like trouble breathing.

Sprains and other sport injuries
Florida offers many ways for tourists to stay active, from golf and tennis to watersports and theme park rides. However, participating in physical activities, especially unfamiliar ones, raises the risk of sprains, strains, and other injuries. Use proper gear and technique, warm up beforehand, listen to instructors, and stop an activity if you feel pain. Treat minor sprains with RICE: rest, ice, compression, and elevation. See a doctor for severe sprains or fractures.

Car accidents
With so many tourist drivers on Florida’s roads, accidents inevitably happen, which is why there were 391,428 crashes in Florida in 2023. Tourists may be navigating an unfamiliar area or driving on the opposite side of the road compared to what they are used to.

Defensive driving, obeying speed limits, avoiding distractions like phones, and wearing seatbelts reduces the chances of an accident. If a car accident does occur, exchange insurance information and get medical help for any injuries right away. Report the accident to the rental car company if a rental was involved, and consult a team of personal injury attorneys.

By being aware of these common risks, tourists can take precautions to stay safe and avoid injuries while vacationing in Florida. Taking simple safety steps goes a long way toward preventing most common tourist injuries. Pay attention to warning signs, listen to lifeguard and guide advice, and use your best judgment to have an incident-free Florida getaway.

The article Five common tourist injuries to watch out for in Florida first appeared in TravelDailyNews International.

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