Dr. Bindi Naik-Mathuria, Medical Director of Trauma at Texas Children’s Hospital
School’s out for summer! With less time spent in the classroom and more time spent outside, children’s risk for injury increases tremendously. Amidst all of the summer fun, it’s important to keep safety in mind in order to prevent unexpected trips to the trauma center. Below is some useful information about common summer injuries, as well as a few tips to keep your active young one safe this summer.
Common Trauma/Injuries Seen During the Summer
• Drowning: Temperatures are on the rise, and many of our kids flock to beaches, lakes and swimming pools as an escape from the heat. But water can be really dangerous without caution. Always keep your child supervised near water, especially in pools without lifeguards.
• Car accidents and bike accidents: Car accidents, auto-pedestrian accidents, and bike accidents happen more frequently during the summer. It’s important to use age-appropriate car seats. Always wear seatbelts and helmets, and be sure to look both ways before crossing the street.
• All-terrain vehicle accidents: According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, children account for 30 percent of ATV-related deaths and emergency room visits. Children under the age of 16 should not operate an ATV. All riders should wear protective headgear and eyewear. No double buckling!
• Animal-related incidents: Never leave your child unsupervised around animals. Children need to be supervised when around dogs, horses, and other outdoor animals.
• Lawnmower accidents: Objects in the yard, including toys and stones, can be hazardous while mowing. If at all possible, it is best to keep children out of the yard while mowing.
• Firework accidents: Fireworks are extremely dangerous. Kids should never ignite a firework! They can cause severe burns, blindness and even death. It is best for families to attend professional community fireworks displays rather than using fireworks at home.
When should you take your child to a trauma center?
Your child should be taken to a pediatric trauma center for any accident where multiple body areas are significantly injured. For example, a bike incident with head trauma and abdominal pain related to bruising from the handlebar.
You should also seek out a pediatric trauma center if your child has been involved in a traumatic head injury and is experiencing increased sleepiness, or any changes in behavior.
Texas Children’s level 1 trauma center is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to meet the special needs of injured patients.