Summer Safety for Kids. Part 1

Not much beats that first-day-of-summer feeling when you’re a kid. The spiral notebooks and No. 2 pencils have been stored in the closet, and what seems like an endless number of days lie ahead. But, while kids may dream about the infinite ways to fill those long, lazy summer days, parents may be suffering nightmares about all the ways their children may get injured during summer vacation.

In a first-ever national report on seasonal trends of fatal and nonfatal unintentional injury among children, the National Safe Kids Campaign found that the months of May through August account for nearly half of all injury-related childhood deaths — with July being the deadliest month. Many more children also sustain injuries during summer months.

“For years, doctors have referred to the summer months of May through August as ‘trauma season,’” says Heather Paul, Ph.D., executive director of the National Safe Kids Campaign. “During these months when children are out of school, aren’t supervised as much and spend more time outdoors, millions are rushed to emergency departments after falling off their bikes, getting hit by cars or nearly drowning.”

Maggie Huey, R.N., M.H.A., director of Emergency Services at Cook Children’s Medical Center in Fort Worth, Texas, sees various types of children’s summertime injuries first-hand.

“We refer to children’s injuries as seasonal,” Huey says. “By seasonal we don’t necessarily mean what the calendar says — it’s what the weather’s like. And, in the summer season, we see things related to kids being outside more and being very active.”

This summer, children will be rushed to emergency rooms nearly 3 million times for serious injuries resulting from drowning, bike crashes, falls, pedestrian incidents and motor vehicle crashes, according to the National Safe Kids Campaign.

Here are some tips that can help both parents and children enjoy the summer season — safely.

Around the Pool
When the mercury creeps upward, kids head to the pool. But no matter how hot it gets, never leave children alone in or near the pool, even for a moment, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).

Drowning is the second-leading cause of injury-related death for children, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. During the summer, drowning is the greatest risk for children age 14 and younger, increasing 96 percent above average, according to the National Safe Kids Campaign.

From 1991 to 1996, 6,237 children age 14 and under died from drowning. Of these deaths, two-thirds occurred in the summer, Paul says.

Most drownings and near-drownings occur in residential swimming pools, with more than half happening in the child’s home pool, and one-third at the homes of friends, neighbors or relatives. But, it’s not just pools that pose a risk. Children — especially younger ones — can also drown in as little as one inch of water, putting them at risk of drowning in wading pools, bathtubs, buckets, diaper pails, toilets, spas and hot tubs.

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October 5th, 2012 - Posted in Children's Health | | Comments Off

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