Top 3 Common Summer Injuries For Kids
Summer is known as “Trauma Season” for emergency rooms. Adult injuries increase by a third, but injuries to children double during the summer months. It all begins as soon as the clock skips forward, experts believe. The combination of added playtime each evening, the warmer weather and the time off from school increases the risk for many different types of injuries. Summertime injuries are caused by hurrying, poor judgment, or lack of oversight, however, the uptick in personal injury lawsuit filings over the summer months shows negligence can also be a factor.
Here are three of the most common summer injuries to avoid:
1. Accidental falls
Kids can fall off skateboards, jungle gyms, trampolines, ladders, staircases and trees. The end result is usually a concussion, sprain or broken bone, but a fall from 30 feet or higher increases the risk of death by 50 percent, so you’ll want to supervise your children carefully and make sure they are playing in a safe environment. Just in the last five years, falls have superseded motor vehicle accidents as the top reason for trauma-related hospitalization. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said that 200,000 kids under 14 are treated for playground falls alone each year as a result of poor maintenance, design of equipment, or supervision.
2. Bicycle accidents
In one calendar year, 800 bicyclists were killed and 515,000 were injured – including 26,000 children, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Head injuries for those not wearing helmets cause the most severe trauma. Broken bones and lacerations requiring stitches are other common bicycle-related injuries. Bike accidents include collisions with motor vehicles or manufacturing defects in components like the composite forks, aluminum frames, bolts, brakes, or chains. Children should be taught the rules of the road and instructed to wear reflective clothing, as well as safety helmets. Their bicycles should come from reliable manufacturers and tuned up each year to reduce the risk of harm.
3. Swimming incidents
Drowning is a quick, silent killer – but only a third of parents know that water is the No. 1 leading cause of injury-related death among children ages 1 to 3 and the second-leading cause among all kids under 15, according to a Safe Kids Worldwide survey cited by Parenting Magazine. Most kids don’t even make a splash; they hit their heads and sink to the bottom of the water. A child will lose consciousness after two minutes of submersion and suffer irreversible brain damage within four to six minutes. Nine out of 10 children who died in the water were under direct supervision of an adult, says Safe Kids. Babies tend to drown in bathtubs, toddlers in swimming pools, and older children in lakes, rivers and oceans. A number of different people can be held liable in these cases – private and public pool owners, lifeguards or child supervisors, floatation device manufacturers, or even local municipalities that fail to warn about unsafe wave or current conditions. Experts say the best way to prevent drowning or water-related accidents is to always stay within arm’s reach when your child is in or near water.
To put things into perspective: most ER visits are still non-traumatic in nature and do not result in lawsuits. For kids, it’s mostly breathing difficulties, colds that just won’t quit, high fevers, toothaches, dehydration, and abdominal pains. Many injuries are treated at home or at outpatient centers with something as simple as a bandage. Even so, the old rule of thumb applies: Better safe than sorry!