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Tailgating Dangers to Avoid

Football season is in full swing for fans across the country, which means it is tailgating time. But one of America's favorite past times is fraught with risk and often people are sickened or injured during tailgating events. Some severe injuries are freak accidents, unlikely to happen to ordinary people enjoying a tailgate event. But others are more common, and often avoidable. In either case, the best way to pursue damages in the event of a mishap is by working with an experienced personal injury lawyer. Sunburn The early months of the season can be bright and wonderful, but access to... 

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Football season is in full swing for fans across the country, which means it is tailgating time. But one of America's favorite past times is fraught with risk and often people are sickened or injured during tailgating events. Some severe injuries are freak accidents, unlikely to happen to ordinary people enjoying a tailgate event. But others are more common, and often avoidable. In either case, the best way to pursue damages in the event of a mishap is by working with an experienced personal injury lawyer.

Sunburn

The early months of the season can be bright and wonderful, but access to shady spaces can be limited. Even on an overcast day, the risk of sunburn is still present. This is an area where protection from the elements is truly on the shoulders of the spectator: wear sunscreen, wear a hat, carry a parasol or take other measures to protect one's self and friends from becoming a victim of the sun's powerful rays.

Frostbite

On the opposite end of the weather spectrum, chilly fall mornings can lead to frostbite for those who brave the elements to show their colors. "Team spirit" leads to injury when people fail to protect their extremities from the cold, particularly on wet or windy days. Avoid frostbite by seeking shelter from the elements, wearing appropriate clothing, and taking advantage of portable heaters during the tailgate.

Dehydration

Because there's limited access to fresh potable water at stadiums, and also due to alcohol consumption, dehydration can pose a serious risk to tailgaters. Though being a bit dehydrated for a few hours is unlikely to cause any real harm, it can cause cloudy judgment, poor concentration and blurred vision. Those three factors combined can lead to car accidents or other mishaps that take the fun out of game day for all parties concerned. Drinking more water, alternating alcoholic beverages with sports drinks and ensuring a healthy combination of foods is available are great ways to stave off dehydration among tailgaters.

Back injuries

Because tailgating is something of an exhibition, people increasingly up their pregame game, hauling far more to the venue than traditional coolers. One of the more common complaints tailgaters have the day after a game is back pain, often due to improper lifting technique when moving "portable" grills, smokers and games in and out of their vehicles.

Joint injuries

Some tailgaters like to engage in friendly competitions, throwing the ball around before a football game is a common sight. But unlike the elite athletes taking part in the game, tailgaters are unlikely to warm up first. Shoulders and knees are the most common victims in these "friendly" matches between fans during a tailgate event. The best protection from such injuries is warming up adequately before the match starts.

Slip and fall injuries

A good personal injury lawyer knows that parking lots can become dangerous as the weather gets wetter and temperatures drop. Tailgaters would do well to don appropriate footwear, grit or de-ice the area around their own tailgating setup and follow guidance available at the sporting venue to avoid injury.

Bumps, bruises, and lacerations

In addition to simple slip and fall issues, people can bang themselves on equipment, trip over the corn hole game or otherwise injure themselves in unthinkable ways at any time. Be vigilant, keep things tidy and watch guests for over-consumption of alcohol to keep everyone safe.

Food-borne illness

Catering has a huge potential for liability, as personal injury lawyers know all too well. Improperly cooked food, food that was poorly stored or even contaminated can make tailgaters seriously ill. It is equally important for hosts to be vigilant, and for guests to be informed about what they are consuming.

Burns and fire damage

In addition to the risk of sunburn, the more serious specter of burns from barbecues, smokers and even patio heaters shouldn't be ignored. Following good grill-keeper's practices is important to keeping people safe. Additionally, having a good first aid kit on hand, as well as a fire extinguisher, is a great way to minimize the risk of burns among tailgate guests.

Serious injuries and death

While it may seem extreme to talk about the risk of dying during a little light-hearted pregame barbecue, personal injury lawyers will tell you that people do die during tailgating events. Serious injuries have, and will continue to happen on sites where spirited tailgaters enjoy food and drink: they fall from bleachers, get hit in the parking lot and, more commonly, have heart attacks.

Enjoying a good tailgate experience is as much part of the American football tradition as the pigskin itself. Preparing adequately for game day and taking care to make good decisions throughout the tailgate event are the best ways to avoid an office consultation with your personal injury lawyer after the big game.

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