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Kids Summer Safety

Summer is a great time for children to enjoy playing out of doors, but precautions should be taken so some serious injuries don’t occur.

About 25 million children and teens suffer injuries each year that require medical treatment at the emergency department.  Many of the injuries can be prevented if parents are careful and plan ahead.  Dr. Ted Clark, assistant professor of emergency medicine at SIU School of Medicine in Springfield, explains some injuries that are seen most often in hospital emergency rooms.

SOUND BITE:  “. . . in the summertime we see quite an increase in traumatic type injuries – bumps, bruises, lacerations, sprains, fractures or broken bones.  They’re all very common during the trauma season, which typically runs about May to August in a given year.”

Dr. Clark says other injuries include those resulting from swimming, bicycle and ATV accidents as well as from dehydration, sunburn and heat exhaustion.   He says it might be tempting for parents to want to protect children from possible injuries by keeping them inside playing video games and watching TV, but he advises against that.

SOUND BITE:  “. . . I would certainly encourage parents to allow their children to be outside and to play.  In the long run, avoiding the sedentary lifestyle is going to do a lot more for their health than the short-term risk of injury.”

Dr. Clark advises parents to be vigilant in watching their children on the playground and around swimming pools.  If a child is injured they should be taken to their primary care physician or hospital emergency department as quickly as possible.

This is Ruth Slottag at SIU School of Medicine in Springfield.