5 Summer Injury Risks for Kids

1. Drowning

BIGGEST DANGER: Home swimming pools. Thirty percent of all unintentional deaths for toddlers 1 to 4 years old were drownings, most in that backyard we consider so safe.

Never leave children unsupervised.

Other tips include keeping a four-sided fence around larger pools to prevent unsupervised access and using life-jackets when you’re in lakes, ponds or the ocean.

Take swimming lessons. Even tiny children can learn to swim to the side and hold on. But constant, careful supervision is key.

2. Burns

BIGGEST DANGER: Indoor cooking. Fire-related injuries are responsible for 9.1 percent of unintentional deaths among kids worldwide, according to the Pediatrics article.

Maintain your smoke alarms to give children time to escape. Use stove-guards to keep a child’s curiosity (and hands) from getting in the wrong place, and prevent scalding injuries.

Camp fires and barbecues are delightful, but parents should keep a close eye on potential hazards outdoors.

Give your kids a chance to play out a fire emergency and get to a meeting point under your watchful eye. It could save their life.

3. Falls

Bike injuries to children and adolescents? They add up to 26,000 traumatic brain injuries a year.BIGGEST DANGER: For little kids, it’s changing-tables; for bigger kids, it’s summer sports and bikes. Globally, more than 4 percent of pediatric deaths are associated with falls. Almost 2.8 million children a year are injured by them.

This one might be the easiest for parents of infants. The routine use of guardrails and stair gates, changing diapers on the floor and using highchairs with safety belts will make a big difference. In older children, make it a family rule to use of basic protective sports gear. That means you wear a bike helmet, too.

4. Road Traffic Injuries

Use of age-appropriate child safety seats on those summer road trips (or even to the grocery store for more watermelon).BIGGEST DANGER: Car accidents. Road traffic injuries with cars are among the leading causes of death and permanent disability beyond the age of 5 years.

That back seat is the best place for all children younger than 13 years old. Front seat airbags can hurt kids. Seat belts are a must. They lead to a 45 percent reduction in crash deaths.

5. Poisonings

BIGGEST DANGER: Unexpected poisons like citronella oil in Tiki torches, cosmetics and, of course, household cleaners and medications. Globally, poisonings result in 3.9 percent of all deaths, and here at home more than 300 children are treated every day as a result of being poisoned. Two of these children die.

Keep cleaning supplies out of sight and, outdoors, be aware of dangerous chemicals left within the reach of curious children. Keep the toll-free number for the Poison Control Center near the phone.

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