Each year, summertime activities are responsible for a high rate of childhood injuries including broken bones, facial injuries, head trauma, and drowning.
Preventing Summertime Injuries
Since children are out of school during the summer season, many participate in summertime activities such as swimming, biking, roller skating, and summer sports. While parents encourage summertime activities to keep children active, thousands of injuries send children to hospital emergency rooms every year.
Falls are the leading cause of summertime injuries. Emergency room doctors treat thousands of children who sustain fractures, broken bones, facial injuries, and head trauma from falls on playground equipment, bicycles, roller skates, and skateboards. While some injuries are minor, others have serious or fatal consequences.
Fractures and Broken Bones
Because children’s bones are not fully developed, falls commonly result in facial lacerations, wrist and elbow fractures, and broken bones for children. Injuries to the face, wrists, forearms, and elbows are especially common for children ages 2-6. as well as older, more active children between the ages of 6-12.
Facial injuries often involve wounds to the eyes and eyelids, forehead, and chin. If a fall occurs on concrete, gravel, or rocks, puncture wounds can get infected with dirt or debris. Injuries to wrists, arms, and elbows cause pain, bruising, swelling, deformities, and difficult movements. To ensure safety, parents should:
- Make sure children’s clothing doesn’t have drawstrings that can get tangled in playground equipment
- Check play areas for safety hazards, such as rusty or broken equipment and uneven surfaces
- Make sure children are wearing well-fitting, securely fastened shoes with proper treads
Head trauma and brain injuries are often caused by falls that occur on playground equipment, bicycles, roller skates, and skateboards. Children who participate in summer sports like swimming and diving, football, basketball, baseball, and soccer are especially vulnerable to head trauma with skull fractures and brain injuries. Many injuries can be prevented if children are wearing proper safety equipment.
Injury lawyers see many drowning deaths caused by summertime activities. Drowning can happen quickly in less than 2 inches of water. Drowning is the leading cause of accidental death for children under 5 years of age. To prevent drowning, parents should give children swimming lessons offered at many local swimming pools and parks, provide children with well-fitting, Coast Guard-approved life jackets while swimming and boating, and install a fence at least 60 inches tall around home swimming pools, and make sure there is a self-closing, self-latching gate.