Summer Safety for Kids

Summer Safety for Kids

Summer is arguably the best time of year for kids. Camping, swimming, cookouts, and especially the months off from school are just some of their favorite things about the season. Summer is also a time when children are more prone to injure themselves since they are more active outdoors. Pediatricians suggest that parents stay on high alert for the potential dangers with their kids this season, as well as how to prevent them from getting hurt. Preventable injuries are the leading cause of death with children. The number of annual pediatric deaths in the United States averages to 12,000. The most common avoidable injuries for children occur most often during the summer time. The best thing that parents can do to keep their kids safe is to know the types of damages to which children are susceptible to this season.

Falls Top the List of Summer Injuries in Children

By far, the leading cause of a child injury is from falling. Falling injuries consistently top the list of preventable emergency visits each year. During the summer, there is a myriad of ways for kids to fall and hurt themselves. Tree climbing, cliff jumping into a lake, jumping on a trampoline, or even falling from playground equipment are all surefire ways to wind up in a hospital. Bicycles alone are responsible for 400,000 visits annually.

Prevention of Child Injuries in Summer

Kids are bound to hurt themselves eventually. Nobody gets through their childhood without doing so, but the best thing for parents is to protect their children as much as possible and to know that children can be treated at The Emergency Center if they are injured.
  • Bikes. When riding a bike, skating, or skateboarding, children should always wear helmets and proper padding to prevent serious injury. Parents know that it makes their kids look lame, so maybe let them know that it is for their own good. They should also keep all bicycling and skating strictly on biking paths or sidewalks and away from traffic.
  • Treehouses. Elevated playing areas such as treehouses should be placed no more than 10 feet from the ground and should have a protective layer of surfacing such as mulch or wood chips on the ground. Falls are less likely to be severe with softer surfaces. Protective surfacing should also be in playgrounds for the same reason.
  • Traffic. Kids often play sports in places where traffic is frequent. Keep them from playing in the street to avoid car accidents. A nearby park or backyard is a much safer option.
  • Diving. Never allow a child to dive into shallow waters. Shallow diving almost guarantees a severe head injury. Additionally, never let one blindly jump from a cliff into unknown waters. There is no way of telling whether or not there are rocks or other large objects underneath. Water does not necessarily soften the landing, either. Depending on the height of the jump, landing on the water can be very similar to landing on concrete.

Summer Pool Safety

There is a notable spike in child drownings every year during the summer. The season has only just begun, and there have already been 39 reported child drownings in Texas alone this year. It only takes minutes and as little as two inches of water for a drowning to occur. Children require constant supervision while they are in the water. The best way to prevent a child from drowning this summer is to watch over them the entire time they are in or near water. It only takes one wrong breath underwater, barely even one second, for drowning to begin. Floatation devices such as life jackets and water wings are also a great way to keep a child’s head above water. If the child is around a backyard pool but is not swimming, parents should strongly consider fencing around the pool area to keep the child away from the water.

BURNS

Heat-related injuries occur quite often for kids during summer time. Sunburns, fireworks, burns from outdoor grills, campfires, and even indoor cooking surfaces can injure a child very quickly. There is an average of one million burns that require medical attention each year, and children during the summer are the ones that are injured the most.
  • Playground Equipment. Aside from the familiar heat-induced wounds, parents may not be aware that playground equipment (especially metals) can get very hot very fast in the sun. It only takes 150 degrees to cause a third-degree burn, and playground slides, monkey bars, and swings can reach surface temperatures of over 130 degrees. Always test playground surfaces before allowing children to play on them.
  • Sunburn.When in the sun, children should have sunscreen applied regularly onto all visible skin surfaces.
  • Fireworks. Children don’t fully understand how to use fireworks, never allow kids to handle them.
  • Grills and Stoves. When grilling, it is best to keep children away from outdoor cooking surfaces at all times. The same applies to indoor cooking.
  • Campfires. Adults should supervise campfires at all times.
  • Indoor fires. In the case of indoor fires, be sure to check fire alarms regularly and educate children on what to do and have a family escape plan in the event of a fire.
This summer, kids are bound to get into trouble. Injuries happen all the time, and sometimes parents don't see them coming until they occur. Fortunately, these injuries are preventable with the proper precautions and knowing the activities that can precede accidents. Have fun and be safe this summer, and keep the kids safe as well!

If your child is injured while playing or swimming, The Emergency Center does treat children. Do not hesitate to come to The Emergency Center right away.  The Emergency Center provides up to 23 hours of Observation and offers 24/7 care with NO WAITING. Visit one of The Emergency Center’s convenient 24-hour locations in ArlingtonFort Worth, and San Antonio.