According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), injuries are the leading cause of deaths in children and a child is treated in an emergency room every 4 seconds. Summer is a great time when families spend more time outdoors, but outdoor activities often bring about injuries. Mason Gomberg, MD, a pediatrician with Westchester Health Pediatrics, offers 4 important tips to keep your family safe this summer.
Helmets should always be a requirement for any cycling, skateboarding, rollerblading, kayaking or whitewater rafting activity. Parents should lead by example and also wear a helmet. The head gear should be well-fitted to prevent head injuries and concussions. Knee pads and arm guards should also be used to prevent injuries to the extremities. The use of trampolines is another outside activity that should be supervised and an enclosure surrounding the unit will help prevent injuries.
The leading cause of deaths from injury in children ages 1-4 is from drowning. All pools should be fenced in and an alarm system should be in place at a private home. There should always be parental supervision whenever any child or teen is swimming. If you are having a party, it may be wise also to hire a lifeguard. Formal swimming lessons have shown to decrease the risk of drowning and can be started between the ages of 2 and 3. Even though a child has a flotation device, he/she still needs to be supervised.
Summer brings the risk of burns, not only from the sun but from outdoor grills and campfires. Make sure there is a wide area around the grill or campfire when children are playing. Ashes stay hot even when the fire is out and can lead to burns if not careful. Also, never leave the area until all fires are out and cold.
4. Lawn mowers
Children should never play on or around a lawn mower while in use. They can be burned by a hot engine or injured by the blades if they get too close or an item gets tangled under the mower. Also, an item can be flung out like a projectile.
More prevention tips:
- Remind your children not to go up to strangers, either on foot or in a car. They should be taught to run away and start screaming for help. Parental supervision is the best precaution to ward off strangers. With the ice cream trucks coming to our streets and parks, children need to learn not to run to the truck without looking for oncoming traffic.
- Every parent needs to teach their children not to run after a ball that goes into the street.
- Kids should always have their feet covered, especially in the street (broken glass) and on wooden decks (splintered wood).
- Open windows used for ventilation also attract children to feel the breeze. If there are no window guards, children have been know to fall out, especially from high-rise apartments or the second or third floors of single family homes.
For more information, advice and tips, come in and see us
If you’re concerned about your child’s safety, or any aspect of his/her healthcare, please call (914) 232-1919 to make an appointment with one of our Westchester Health pediatricians to come in and talk about it. Whenever, wherever you need us, we’re here for you.
To read Dr. Gomberg’s blog in full, click here.