Summertime is full of fun opportunities for children, yet reports of injuries rise as the days get longer and warmer. This is true in Florida just like it is everywhere else.
How can you help your kids avoid getting hurt? It starts with knowing the most common ways that children tend to get injured over the summer months. Here’s a list of six types of common injuries your children may encounter, and ways you can keep them safe.
Dangers to Watch Out for Over the Summer Months
- Water injuries
Children love playing in the water when summertime arrives, but each year a number of kids are injured or killed in water-related accidents.
Drowning is the main cause of death for children ages 1 to 4, according to the CDC. Most of those drownings occur in home swimming pools, but buckets and fountains can also pose a danger.
Dr. Tony Woodward, division chief of emergency medicine at Seattle Children’s Hospital, says that it takes only 90 seconds without a breath for a toddler to start losing oxygen in the brain. “The key is if there’s any amount of water outside, you have to be watching your kid. You can’t take your eyes off them for an instant.”
Inflatable rings and water wings don’t always provide proper security. Larger rafts can cover up the view of a child in trouble. The bottom line is that children need constant supervision when they are near any kind of water.
Unsecured pool covers can also pose a drowning risk. Older children may even climb under a pool cover and then be unable to escape. Keeping pool covers locked and pool areas well-lit can prevent these types of injuries from happening.
- Falling dangers
Children love jumping on trampolines and inside bounce houses, yet these fun contraptions present several hazards. Accidents and falls can cause broken bones, back and neck injuries, and concussions.
To prevent injury, only allow kids of relatively equivalent size and weight to jump at the same time. Accidents are more likely to happen when small children jump with larger children and they bump into each other. Also, only trained individuals should attempt complicated jumps.
Additionally, children are also commonly injured by falls from non-motorized scooters and bikes. One report says that nearly 400,000 children 18 and younger are treated every year for bicycle-related injuries. It’s important for children to wear protective head gear every time they ride a bike to prevent serious harm.
- Vehicle dangers
Sadly, each year children suffer heat stroke or die from being trapped inside hot vehicles. More than half of the time, they are left behind by an adult. Another 17 percent of the time, children climb inside a vehicle and lock themselves inside. These kinds of injuries are 100 percent preventable, and parents can set reminders and lock parked vehicles to stop tragedies from happening.
Other vehicle dangers include accidents on ATVs, golf carts, and of course just plain old car accidents. Again, adult supervision is the key for injury prevention.
- Toy dangers
Toy guns are the number one cause of injuries from toys. Pellet guns and airsoft guns caused a 500 percent spike in injuries between 2010 and 2012. Children need to be taught to not point toy guns at another person’s head or eyes and to not shoot at close range.
Airborne toys like helicopters, drones, and other projectile toys present risks for head injuries. Adult supervision is needed with these kinds of toys, which should never be pointed at a person.
Also, many children are injured each year by choking on small parts and pieces of toys and other household objects. Small objects should always be kept out of the reach of babies and toddlers who naturally try to put everything in their mouths.
- Household dangers
Cords, straps, and strings present year-round hazards for strangulation. Keep little hands away from these potential risks.
Burns are also a common reason for injuries in the summertime. Children suffer burns from grills and open flames, fireworks, and even hot foods or water placed on the edge of countertops. Adult supervision is crucial when children are near campfires or grills, when handling fireworks, and in the kitchen.
- Other dangers
A danger that sometimes gets forgotten is sunburn. Children who suffer from sunburns are far more likely to develop skin cancer as an adult than people who never had a sunburn in their childhood.
Take the necessary precautions by consistently applying sunscreen, wearing hats and sunglasses, and avoiding being outside during the hours of 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., when damaging UV rays are strongest.
If your child is severely injured this summer due to the negligence of another, you may be able to hold the responsible parties accountable and receive fair and just compensation by filing a personal injury claim. Talk to a knowledgeable Florida child injury attorney to learn more about your options.
About the Author:
Andrew Winston is a partner at the personal injury law firm of Winston Law. For over 20 years, he has successfully represented countless people in all kinds of personal injury cases, with a particular focus on child injury, legal malpractice, and premises liability. He has been recognized for excellence in the representation of injured clients by admission to the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, is AV Preeminent Rated by the Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, enjoys a 10.0 rating by AVVO as a Top Personal Injury Attorney, has been selected as a Florida “SuperLawyer” from 2011-2017 – an honor reserved for the top 5% of lawyers in the state – and was voted to Florida Trend’s “Legal Elite” and as one of the Top 100 Lawyers in Florida and one of the Top 100 Lawyers in the Miami area for 2015, 2016, and 2017.