Common Injuries for Kids 1 of 9
A little jumping around on the backyard trampoline may seem harmless, but trampoline accidents landed 98,000 people in the ER in 2009. Basic warnings on most trampolines advise one jumper at a time, no flips, and no participants under the age of six. Trampolines with safety nets can lower the rate of falls. Still, once you hear the story of a backflip gone wrong, it seems like the easiest way to stay safe on trampolines is not to use them at all — not in the backyard or at a friends house or even in kid-focused indoor gyms.
Common Injuries for Kids 2 of 9
3: Drowning Accidents
While horrifying to think about, drowning remains the third leading cause of death for kids between ages 1 and 4. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends signing up toddlers and young children for swim lessons, keeping life jackets on at all times when boating or on docks, staying within arms reach of young kids, and learning to spot riptide conditions and teaching your kids how to swim out of them (thats on a diagonal line, away from the current and toward the shore). Closer to home, dont let young kids spend time in hot tubs and make sure you know the pool safety rules endorsed by the AAP. Last: get trained in CPR. Should the need ever arise, youll be more than happy you did.
Common Injuries for Kids 3 of 9
Theyre a lot of fun on the 4th of July, but mishandled fireworks can literally backfire. The Texas Childrens Hospital reports that 3,000 children, most between the ages of 10 and 14, come to the ER every year with fireworks-related injuries. The CPSC recommends that you dont ever allow young kids to play with fireworks, including sparklers, which can heat up to a shocking 2000 degrees. In addition, check that fireworks are legal where you live and skip the ones that arrive in brown paper (they are usually made for professionals). Keep a big bucket of water or a hose nearby when lighting any fireworks, and when youre done, douse used fireworks in water before throwing away.
Common Injuries for Kids 4 of 9
5: Head injuries
The risk of head injury is highest in spring and summer months, when kids spend more time outside. According to Childrens Hospital Boston, the chances of a head injury are twice as high for boys than girls, and most accidents occur in the afternoon to early evening. The key to preventing head injuries is wearing a helmet and wearing it properly. Bone up on helmet safety, including proper fit and what kind of helmet to buy. Not sure if your child needs to go to the ER? Dr. Sears says its time to go when you child 1) loses consciousness, even for a short time 2) is throwing up of losing his or her balance 3) cannot look you in the eye or respond to questioning 3) complains of blurry vision. Be sure to check your child frequently in the 24 hours following a head injury, noting any change in sleep patterns, skin tone (becoming paler, or blue) and breathing.
Common Injuries for Kids 5 of 9
6: Playground Accidents
With a safe structure and a little playground etiquette, most accidents in the park or your backyard can be avoided, according to The American Academy of Pediatrics. Remember to check playground equipment for any loose joints or bolts, splinters, rusty pins or hooks/pieces that could snag a kids clothing. Also make sure that the ground is forgiving — i.e. made of sand, rubber floor/mats, or wood chips. Other good practices: Check the temperature for anything that has been sitting out in the sun, keep really little kids in separate play areas, make sure those little hands are holding on to the swings, and try to get your kids to use ladders instead of walking up the slide.
Common Injuries for Kids 6 of 9
7: Sunburn and/or Dehydration
According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, sunburns in babies aged 1 or younger are considered emergencies. Slightly older kids will have more protection in their skin, but can still suffer terrible burns. If kids complain of severe pain, or you notice blistering, fever or lethargy, check in with your pediatrician or seek urgent care. And watch out for dehydration — a kid with a burn needs plenty of fluids. To avoid sunburns, wear hats; seek out shade; apply sunscreen every couple of hours, especially after swimming; avoid the sun during the peak hours of 10am — 4pm. Are they already burnt? Keep them out of the sun completely until they heal.
Common Injuries for Kids 7 of 9
8: Food poisoning
All those summer BBQs and picnics can be a lot of fun, but also host to some gnarly bouts of food poisoning, especially in little ones. Experts at the Childrens Hospital of Wisconsin tell parents to avoid food poisoning by washing hands and cutting boards after handling raw meat, fish or eggs and giving all veggies a good wash. Also know your freshness rules: fish can thaw in your fridge for 24 hours; any meat thawed in the microwave should be cooked right away; chicken and ground beef stay fresh for 1-2 days, and you have about another day or two for red meat; cook meat at a temp of at least 325 degrees. Lastly, dont eat mayo or eggs that have been left out for long periods. (Sorry, last few deviled eggs.)
Common Injuries for Kids 8 of 9
9: Insect Bites and Stings
Unless your child has a severe allergic reaction, hell most likely be uncomfortable for a little while following a bug bite or sting but wont need to be rushed to the ER. The AAP says youve got an emergency on your hands if you notice that your child has trouble breathing, is very weak or loses consciousness, has hives and/or itching all over or has serious swelling around the eyes, lips or genitals. Keep the bites at bay by staying away from garbage cans, standing water, open food, gardens, high grasses and anywhere too far off the trail. Dressing kids in longsleeves and long pants can also help, as can tucking pants into socks in known tick areas. When looking for a repellent, see what the AAP has to say about applying DEET.
Common Injuries for Kids 9 of 9
10: Car accidents
According to Safe Kids USA, of the more than 1,400 kids under 14 who died in car accidents in 2005, nearly half werent wearing seatbelts or werent properly restrained in carseats. In addition, a couple thousand kids per year are taken to the ER because someone backed over them, and a few dozen die from being left alone in a hot car. Keep your family safe by making sure they are buckled up properly, triple-checking your rearview before backing up, and never leaving a little person (whose body heats up much faster than an adults) alone in the car.