August can be the cruelest month – at least when it come to injuries and kids. According to the Daily Beast, that’s the time when kids, often out of camp and still a month away from school, are most likely to get a boo-boo that lands them in the ER.
The problem seems to be two-fold. Much backyard play equipment tends to be more shoddily secured in back yards than they are when installed professionally for use in public playgrounds. Also, parents tend to fall prey to the fallacy that children are safer when closer to home and watchable from the kitchen window.
The biggest offenders? Both swing sets and monkey bars ranked high in the backyard boo-boo survey. And in the no-shock department, trampolines didn’t fare too well either.
Swimming pools – both above ground and built-in – ranked rather low but don’t get too excited by this finding. This may be attributable to the fact that parents tend to be more vigilant around their kids when they know they are romping around in a body of water. On the other hand, while the Daily Beast did not make much of this fact, the fact is that swimming pool accidents are much more likely to result in either death or a life-altering injury than a tumble from climbing or jumping equipment. The Boston area, for example, has seen not one but two instances of toddler twins accessing a backyard pool and drowning in the past month.
Among the backyard threats not mentioned at all: not letting your child play outside, a tactic taken by more than one fearful parent. This strikes me as a much greater injury than breaking a bone falling off the monkey bars. Whether it’s August or any other month, kids need to stretch their little wings and discover the world without the benefit of an activity or an instructor. It’s all part of growing up and it’s what makes childhood worth all those boo-boos and trips to the ER.
Want to read more? Read the original report here.
Photo: Robbie Sproul