Every year, families look forward to the summer for its relaxing vacations, fun cookouts and a chance to play outdoors. However, with all of this activity, doctors at Nationwide Children’s Hospital have recently noticed a trend in children’s injuries during the summer months — injuries that are both predictable and preventable.Dr. Kathy Nuss, associate medical director of Trauma Services at 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.
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, who is also operations medical director for Emergency Services at Nationwide Children’s. “If possible, find playgrounds that are spread with mulch or shredded tire; these surfaces add more cushion versus concrete or blacktop.”
According to The Center for Injury Research and Policy at The Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s, 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, doctors said, as well as using hand signals, walking the bicycle across busy streets and intersections, and making sure the seat and handlebars fit the child.
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.
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