Vibitha Mani, M.D., a board-certified pediatrician with INTEGRIS Family Care Council Crossing narrowed down a list of the most common summer related injuries in children that are predictable and preventable.
While falling is a normal part of child growth and development, Mani says there are certain measures parents can take to help prevent injuries.
- Bicycles, Skateboards and Scooters: Children should wear proper safety equipment such as helmets, elbow/knee pads and/or wrist guards.
- Trampolines: Make sure they are appropriately maintained and provide appropriate adult supervision.
- Play Areas: Check the area for safety hazards. Pay attention to rusty or broken playground equipment and uneven surfaces. Mani advises parents to “find playgrounds that are spread with more cushioning material such as mulch or shredded tire rather than concrete.”
Insect Bites and Stings
- Children over two months of age may use DEET-containing insect repellent.
- For simple bites/stings, wash off affected area with soap and warm water.
- If a child has bites or stings with itching/swelling they may use over-the-counter antihistamine such as cetirizine (Zyrtec).
- Seek immediate medical attention if your child has symptoms including swelling of the lips, itchy throat, facial swelling, wheezing, breathing difficulties, blue lips, severe hives around the affected area.
- Flash burns, caused by an explosion of natural gas, propane, gasoline or other flammable liquid are preventable. Close adult supervision when around fires and fireworks can stop most of these occurrences.
- Sunburns: Avoid direct sunlight especially for infants under six months of age. Find shady areas and keep children in protective lightweight clothing covering arms and legs and/or hats. Apply sunscreen at least 30 minutes before sun exposure and re-apply every two hours or after swimming/sweating.
- Parents and caregivers should never be out of reach of a child in the water, whether at home near bathtub or buckets, at the pool or at the beach.
- In group settings, designate an adult to supervise and watch the water without distractions.
- Teach children survival swimming skills.
- Younger children who are not proficient in swimming should wear U.S. Coast Guard-approved well-fitted life jackets.
- The swimming pool should be separated from your home by a non-climbable fence with a self-closing and self-latching gate.
“Most importantly,” Mani encourages, “if families have concerns or uncertainties regarding seriousness of injury, take the child to see their doctor. If it’s nothing, then parents have some peace of mind. If it’s something worse, then the child can get the appropriate care that they need.”