Summer Safety!

By admin

Ahhh! The sun, the surf, cookouts and time with family and friends. With our increased activity during the summer comes an increased chance of injuries, especially for our youth. The CDC notes that drowning is the second leading cause of unintentional injury death for children ages 1 to 14 years (1).  Avoidable injuries are plentiful this time of year.  From the neighbor’s trampoline to your own backyard, from the town pool to the local beach, here are some ways to keep your family safe during the summer months!

Swimming Safety
The CDC notes several factors that influence drowning risk, including: lack of supervision, lack of barriers to prevent individuals from accessing a pool as well as a lack of swimming ability. Some important CDC facts include:
– Every day, about 10 people die from unintentional drowning (not boat related).
– One in five people who die from drowning are 14 or younger.
– Most children ages 1-4 drown in home swimming pools.

The CDC also provides valuable information on safety and prevention(3). Some of their tips include:
– Supervision of children when in or around the water.
– Learn to swim! Don’t take a chance if you are going to be around water.
– Seconds Count! Learn CPR.
– Install four sided fencing around all pools.
– Consider the use of life jackets to reduce risk.

Trampoline Safety
Many trampoline injuries can be serious, ranging from fractures to traumatic brain injuries(4). The New York Times notes the trampoline injury rate at 32 injuries per 100,000 people in 2009. It is interesting to note that children younger than 6 account for 1/3 of all trampoline injuries and three fourths of all injuries occur when there are multiple jumpers on one trampoline.

Lowering the risk:
– Enforce a one person at a time rule.
– Use safety pads on the trampoline’s frame.
– Use safety nets.
– Remove ladders when not in use.
– Provide supervision.

Biking Safety
Every year, about 300,000 kids go to the emergency room due to a biking injury. About 10,000 children have injuries that require them to stay in the hospital for a few days(5).

Lowering the risk:
– Helmet Safety: Not rocket science here. Probably the number one way to reduce serious risk of injury is to ensure the proper use of helmets. Many parents and children are not sure about proper fitting. Why not have a bike helmet fitting clinic on a Saturday morning. Set up an obstacle course for young riders and give prizes. Let the community see your safety in action!
– Know where you are riding! Make sure children have a safe place to ride and understand the importance of “street smarts!”

 Fireworks Safety
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission provides advice on fireworks safety and statistics on injuries(6). In a study of fireworks injuries from June 17 to July 17, 2011, the CPSC found that 200 people on average go to the ER every day with fireworks-related injuries. Illegal and homemade fireworks were involved in all fireworks related deaths in 2011. The most injured body parts are as follows: 46% hands, 17% eyes, 17% head, face and ears. 68% of all injuries occurred to males.

Lowering the risk:
– Never allow children to play with or ignite fireworks.
– Never try to re-light or pick up fireworks that have not ignited fully.
– Light fireworks one at a time and then move back quickly.

Special thanks to the CDC, NY Times, & for the information utilized in this article.



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