Each year, an estimated 9 million children will have an accident or injury that requires a trip to the local emergency room. Mishaps skyrocket during the warm summer months, when kids tend to be engaged in outdoor activities. Understanding riskier activities that often result in a trip to the E.R. is the first step in protecting a child from injury.
Whether it’s a lake or pool, most kids love swimming. Tragically, swimming also accounts for about 350 deaths annually, with drowning being a leading cause of accidental death in children under the age of five. While this doesn’t mean you should cancel that trip to the lake, it does mean parents need to be vigilant when swimming is on the agenda. Backyard pools should always be covered and, if possible, fenced-off from young children.
Older children are the most frequent victims of skateboarding accidents. Kids love to impress their friends by showing off new skateboarding tricks, and they don’t always remember to keep safe by wearing a helmet or elbow and knee guards. Protective gear, especially headwear, can save parents a trip to the E.R. and, in some cases, a life.
Jumping is great exercise, and trampolines can provide a wonderful outlet for energetic kids. However, there’s a downside to this backyard classic. Between 2002-2011, more than a million injuries, most of them broken bones to the upper extremities, were caused by trampolines.In 2012, the American Academy of Pediatrics issued a warning against the recreational use of trampolines.
Millions of school-aged kids will participate in sports every year, with the majority of them suffering nothing more serious than a bruise or pulled muscle. But like any physical activity, sports come with serious risks, and safety equipment can’t prevent every mishap. Broken bones, blunt force trauma from balls or other gear, and concussions are common ailments for sports players.
Falling from playground equipment is a frequent cause of broken bones and head injuries among young children, and some of these accidents are serious enough to warrant a visit to the emergency room. To make matters worse, many playgrounds have outdated equipment in need of repair. Always supervise children while at a playground, and be on the lookout for unsafe equipment.
Most accidents aren’t fatal, but can result in serious concussions, broken bones, and lacerations. Play and physical activity is important for all children, but without supervision and safety, all the fun can quickly become disaster.