Some of the most common summer dangers for children are a big part of summer's fun: bikes, pools, trampolines and campfires.
Dr. Kathy Nuss, associate medical director of Trauma Services at Columbus, Ohio's Nationwide Children's Hospital, and a team of doctors, have narrowed down a list of the most common mechanisms of injuries that send children to the hospital during the summer.
This list is an excellent reminder for simple ways to help your children have a fun and safe summer:
Falls: Falls consistently top the list of summer injuries. While objects such as trampolines have proven to be dangerous, many injuries arise from things that parents may assume are much safer.
"We see a lot of kids falling from playground equipment," says Dr. Nuss. "If possible, find playgrounds that are spread with mulch or shredded tire; these surfaces add more cushion versus concrete or blacktop."
Bicycle Injuries: Nearly 400,000 children younger than 19 years-old are treated in emergency rooms across the country every year for bicycle-related injuries. While the arms and legs are injured the most, head injuries are the most serious, and are the top causes of death in this group. Wearing a bicycle helmet is critical, as well as using hand signals, walking the bicycle across busy streets and intersections, and making sure the seat and handlebars fit the child.
Motorized Vehicles: From ATVs and scooters to cars and golf carts, children are finding their way onto many different types of motorized vehicles. While kids, both young and old, have little control over these accidents, parental supervision is the key to preventing an injury.
"We're seeing ATV crashes where very young children are riding with an older sibling, and they fall off," says Dr. Nuss.
Burns: Burns are in the top five, but not always from fireworks. Doctors typically see older kids come in with ‘flash burns,' which result from direct contact with fire, such as camp fires or fireworks. Younger kids often suffer from ‘scald burns,' which result from contact with heat such as pulling hot food off the counter or water burns. To help prevent these injuries, older kids should be supervised when using fireworks or around a campsite. Parents should keep hot foods and water away from the edges of tables or countertops.
Drownings: Near-drownings are a serious problem this time of year. These accidents often occur in backyard pools and landscape pools, but can also happen in just inches of water. Parents should always practice touch supervision - be close enough to reach out to the child at any time. Experts at Nationwide Children's also strongly encourage parents to get certified in CPR and to always make sure their child is wearing an approved flotation device such as a life vest.