Worried about your kids getting hurt now that summer is nearly here? Don’t worry mom and dad, be proactive instead! This guide is an overview of some common summer injuries and how to avoid them. Remember too, that if your child does get hurt, comfort is vital.
Kids Getting Hurt in Summertime
In the summer months, kids are a lot more active. Obviously, the more active a kid is, the more chances of them getting hurt. Falls are a lot more common in the summer. In fact, if you are a parent, you know that if there is asphalt or concrete around, your kids are bound to find it. Therefore, injuries to their faces, elbows, and knees pop up more.
Falls from bicycles are very common in the U.S. Nearly 400,000 kids under age 19 are treated for these injuries every year, The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. Falls from trampolines are also familiar. Injuries also occur on things we think are safe:
“We see a lot of kids falling from playground equipment,” said Dr. Kathy Nuss, associate medical director of Trauma Services at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio. “If possible, find playgrounds that a spread with mulch or shredded tire; these surfaces add more cushion versus concrete or blacktop.”
Some kids are experts at knowing how to get hurt
Maybe you have that one kid who’s always trying the latest “dares,” like the “cinnamon challenge” (that’s so 2013), or maybe he’s just talented, but here are a few other ways kids get hurt, sometimes with tragic consequences:
Kids getting hurt by accidental poisoning
This is more common than we think. And again, it’s usually due to something most of us wouldn’t consider dangerous. Like the citronella in Tiki torches, for instance, ABC News reports. And of course, medications and household cleaners are also dangerous. Poisonings result in 3.9 percent of all deaths, globally. Children receive treatments for poisoning top 300 kids daily. Out of that depressing number, two kids won’t survive.
Yes, fireworks and campfires are frequent culprits, especially among older kids, but young children receive burns in different ways because they are more likely to grab food or water that’s way too hot, PhysicianOneUrgentCare notes.
Kids getting hurt on motorized vehicles
Most of us know that cars can pose a danger to kids, but ATVs, golf carts, and scooters can also cause their share of injuries. And no matter how safe some of these vehicles may seem, parental supervision is the only sure-fire way to keep your youngsters safe. It’s really the only way to make a potentially dangerous boo boo hurt less. “We’re seeing ATV crashes where very young children are riding with an older sibling, and they fall off,” Nuss said.
ATV accidents aren’t rare, VeryWellFamily reports. Some 100 to 150 ATV-related deaths in children under age 16 occur each year. Additionally, people report more than 40,000 visits to emergency rooms due to these vehicles.
Injuries that are easily preventable are the leading cause of death in kids. An astounding 12,000 children die in the U.S. each year due to accidents.
“Many parents do not realize that injuries are the leading cause of death in children and most of these are preventable,” said Dr. Richard Besser, ABC News Chief Health and Medical Editor, who’s also a practicing pediatrician and the author of Tell Me The Truth, Doctor.
Prevent Kids Getting Hurt: Be Vigilant and Informed
Prevent kids getting hurt by falling by installing guard rails and stair gates. Even changing your baby’s diaper on the floor can help keep your little one safer. Further, get in the protective sports gear habit to prevent kids getting hurt. Make sure you and your kids wear helmets when you hop on bicycles or ATVs. That helmet can also protect your kids when they are on trampolines as well.
Additionally, to prevent accidental poisoning, keep toxic supplies out of reach and out of sight — and keep the toll-free number of the American Association of Poison Control Centers (1-800-222-1222) near your phone. Also, are you planning a barbecue or building a campfire? Your best bet is to keep an eye on them to prevent kids getting hurt. Get them involved. Plan a fire drill and find a safe place where everyone can meet (under your watchful eyes, of course).
We can’t forget about car accidents
Car accidents deserve special concern here. In 2009, more than 1,300 children aged 14 or younger died while occupants of motor vehicles as a result of crashes according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The injuries total 179,000 per year.
You can prevent kids getting hurt or dying by using age-appropriate child safety seats. One study by the NHTSA found that using the seats resulted in a 71 percent reduction in infant injuries and a 54 percent reduction in injuries for toddlers. And while it might seem safer to plop your kids in the front seat, it isn’t. Airbags can actually injure kids, so the safest spot for your youngest is actually the middle of the backseat, with seatbelt firmly on.
So what’s equally as important as prevention? Turning on the comfort.
How to Comfort a Hurt Child
Keep in mind that if your child gets injured, it may trigger unpleasant memories, and depending on your own upbringing, this could make you worry, FullCircleParenting reports. As a result, she may over-focus on the injury or bottle it inside.
Also, if your child is very young, she may only talk well enough to say something like,”boo boo hurt.” So let her know you are always there for her. Be her home base and let her know that you will comfort her. Let her know that she’s able to come to you and that you’ll welcome her with a hug when she does.
At one point, her reaction might seem a bit over the top, but even if it is, that’s okay. Remember that your child is still expressing something that’s legitimate. Instead of getting mad that she’s “faking it,” this is the time to realize that perhaps she needs a little extra attention. Why not say something like,”That really bothered you, didn’t it? You seem to need some extra special love and care right now. How about a hug?”
And this makes it a good time to let your child know she can come to you for hugs and cuddles. Boo boo hurt or no boo boo hurt.
Watch the video below for more information:
Featured image: CC0, by congerdesign via Pixabay
Supervise children when they are involved in activities or in places where injuries are more likely, such as when climbing or when in or around a swimming pool.