How to help keep your kids safe this spring and summerPublished at
This story is brought to you by Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center, which treats more children in the pediatric ER, pediatric ICU and general pediatric floor than any other hospital in southeast Idaho. It is a Level II Trauma Center, and the only burn center in the state of Idaho.
When the weather warms up in southeast Idaho, it’s time to get outdoors and enjoy! Adults and children alike will want to take advantage of the seasonal activities that make living here so fun. But the increase in outdoor activities also brings an increased risk for injuries, and making a trip to the ER is no fun at all. Follow our tips to help keep kids safe this spring and summer.
Common seasonal injuries that send kids to the ER
Pediatric medicine experts have unfortunately labeled spring and summer as “trauma season.” According to the CDC, unintentional injury is the leading cause of death in children and teens, so it’s smart to brush up on seasonal safety and injury prevention.
Some of the most common spring and summer injuries include:
- Head injuries, concussions and broken bones from activities recreational and motor vehicle crashes and sports.
Always call 911 if you believe someone has a life-threatening injury. For serious injuries that are not life-threatening, a pediatric ER, such as the one at EIRMC , can offer your child comprehensive, age-appropriate treatment and compassionate care.
Tips to prevent burns
Burn injuries often happen during the spring and summer when families are outside grilling food, gathering around campfires and enjoying fireworks. Children are especially susceptible to burn injuries because of their natural curiosity. Here are the two most important things you can do to keep kids from getting burned:
- Always supervise children around fire sources, such as stoves, grills, cooktops, candles, and most especially campfires.
- Clear debris from the perimeter of campfires, including extra wood, fire poker, s’mores sticks and other objects that a child may trip over.
Additionally, make sure heat sources are a safe distance from structures, trees and children’s play areas and use only nonflammable seating that is placed at least 4 feet away.
Tips to prevent drowning
Drowning is a preventable tragedy that claims the lives of more children ages 1 to 4 than any other cause. To help keep your kids safe while in the water, follow these water safety tips:
- Enroll kids in formal swimming lessons and water safety classes.
- Supervise children closely — even those who have completed swimming lessons.
- Insist that all children wear life jackets while in and around natural water (lakes, rivers, oceans) and that weaker swimmers wear them even in pools.
- Fully enclose your pool and separate it from the house with a fence at least four feet high, with self-closing and self-latching gates.
- Become proficient in CPR.
Always call 911 if a child or adult is involved in a drowning incident.
Tips to prevent head injuries and broken bones
Healthy, active kids fall, crash, bump and tumble. In many cases, there’s not much parents can do about it. But there are steps you can take to minimize the damage that can occur from playtime or sports activities. Here are some tips to help your kids avoid head injuries, concussions and broken bones:
- Wear a helmet. Parents are educated about wearing a helmet while bike riding, but there are other situations that children and teens should wear a helmet. For example, both drivers and passengers on ATVs, side-by-sides, and motorbikes should wear a helmet. And don’t forget about wearing a helmet while on a horse. It should be well-fitted and maintained, worn consistently and appropriately certified for use.
- Wear pads. Protective padding is available for sports and activities from football to mountain biking to ATV riding and more. Check with a coach, sporting goods store or credible online source to find out what’s recommended for each of your child’s interests.
- Buckle up. If kids are on any sort of wheels this season, make sure the vehicle is appropriate for their age and size and is carrying no more than the maximum weight or number of riders. If there’s a seatbelt or safety harness, make sure they use it.
- Stay hydrated and get enough sleep. Kids who are lethargic or sleepy are at higher risk for making mistakes that can lead to injuries. Proper nutrition and sleep can help them avoid mishaps.
- Scope out playgrounds. For younger kids, falls from playground equipment and trampolines top the list of injuries. In addition to keeping an eye on kids at all times, make sure playground equipment is age-appropriate and is in good condition, with handrails for safety. Check for obstructions that can trip your child, such as rocks or tree stumps.
If you suspect your child has a concussion or broken bone, seek medical treatment immediately.