Although summer should be a time of fun, outdoor activity and exploration, unfortunately, there is also an increased risk for injury. Summer is often referred to as “trauma season” by health care professionals working in emergency departments. Across the country, children 14 years and younger will be rushed to emergency rooms for treatment of injuries nearly 3 million times from May through August.
Injuries are the leading cause of death and disability for children and youth. Injury rates are highest during the summer months for children and teenagers because it is the time when they are exposed to more injury risks.
Based on a 2007 report from Safe Kids USA, Ohio ranks 27 out of 51 with an unintentional injury death rate during May through August of 3.5 per 100,000 children younger than 14.
The majority of unintentional injury deaths from May through August involve drowning, biking, falls, motor vehicle occupant activities and pedestrian incidents. More information on each subject area is available by clicking below.
We all want to help our children live to their full potential and keep them safe and secure. Parents can play a key role in protecting the children they love from injury. Get involved with your child and know where they are going and what they are doing outside. This will allow you to take the necessary steps to help protect them.
Follow these simple tips with your family to protect your children from the top summertime risks:*
- Actively supervise your child when engaging in summertime activities, such as swimming and playing on playground equipment or in backyards.
- Use the right safety gear for your child’s activities, such as a:
- Helmet for wheeled sports and sporting activities.
- Car seat, booster seat or seat belt as appropriate when traveling.
- Life jacket for open water swimming and boating.
- Role model proper safety behavior. Children are more likely to follow safety rules when they see their parents doing so.
- Surround your pool or spa with a four-sided fence to keep children safe. The fence should be at least four feet high with self-closing, self-latching gates. An inflatable pool needs to be surrounded by a fence, just like any other pool, and parents need to empty these pools when not in use.
- Make sure your home playground is safe. Keep 12 inches safe surfacing, such as mulch, shredded rubber or fine sand, extending at least six feet in all directions around the equipment. Remove hood and neck drawstrings from your child’s clothing.
- Check for children around vehicles. Walk all the way around a parked vehicle to check for children before entering a car and starting the motor. Don’t let children play in driveways, streets, parking lots or unfenced yards adjacent to busy streets.
Follow these additional tips to keep your child safe all summer long:
- Keep children away from the grill area while preheating and cooking, and while the grill is cooling.
- Remove potential poisons from your yard, including poisonous plants, pesticides and pool chemicals.
- Apply sunscreen rated SPF 15 or higher to your child’s exposed skin 15 to 30 minutes before going out, and reapply frequently.
- Make sure your child drinks plenty of water. A child who seems tired or achy should rest in the shade or go inside for a while. Get immediate medical help any time a child’s skin is hot to the touch (with or without perspiration), if a child has a seizure, or if they become disoriented in hot weather.
*Source: Safe Kids US
Last Reviewed 6/12/13