This is the time of year when more kids suffer accidental injuries, especially those related to outdoor play.
According to Dr. Laura Pollauf, director of emergency services at Akron Children’s, this trend continues throughout the summer and then peaks with September being the busiest month for trips to the ER.
To keep your kids safe this summer, Pollauf recommends these six tips:
- Wear a helmet and other protective gear. While helmets are important when bicycling, your child should also wear one for other activities, such as skateboarding or riding a scooter. Don’t forget knee and elbow pads.
- Leave the flip-flops behind. For active play ranging from climbing and running to riding bikes and scooters, choose appropriate footwear that offers protection and support. Save the flip-flops for the beach or pool.
- Set a good example. Wear a bike helmet and other protective gear to show your child that safety is important.
- Inspect play equipment. Regularly check backyard swing sets and other play equipment for rusty or loose parts that can cause injury.
- Watch for children. When backing out of driveways or driving through neighborhoods, watch for kids playing outdoors.
- Keep small children away from windows. Make sure small children can’t reach an open window, including by climbing. Don’t rely on screens to keep kids safe, because screens can fall out or rip if a child leans against them.
Keep a well-stocked first aid kit
In case injuries occur, you’ll want to be prepared by having a first aid kit close by.
You can purchase a pre-assembled first aid kit or make your own. If you decide to make one, choose a container that’s durable, easy to carry and simple to open. Plastic tackle boxes or containers for art supplies are ideal because they’re lightweight, roomy and have handles.
While you should always have a first aid kit with you on family outings or vacations, don’t leave it in the car after the trip is over.
“The contents of a first aid kit, especially medications, can be affected if they are stored in a hot car,” Pollauf says. Many pre-assembled kits come with a first aid manual. Read the manual in advance, so you’ll be prepared to respond to an emergency. If your kids are old enough to understand, review the manual with them.
Store your first aid kit in a place that’s out of children’s reach, but easily accessible.
“It’s important to check the contents of your first aid kit regularly to make sure items haven’t expired,” Pollauf says. “Be sure to replenish any items you have used, so it’s ready to go the next time it’s needed.”
Visit akronchildrens.org for more information