More children will visit the emergency room this time of year due to near-drownings than any other type of injury. All of the fun kids have at lakes, parks and pools also brings unfortunate injuries. It’s a time for parents to raise their awareness of the everyday outdoor dangers that can cause tragedies and start practicing a little injury prevention.
What are the biggest dangers in summer and fall? The most common child injuries result from unsafe playgrounds, bicycle accidents, burns from campfires and fireworks, motor vehicles, and water hazards at pools, beaches and lakes. Almost every kid will be at a park or campground, on a bike trail, or playing in water this season.
It wouldn’t be practical to try to keep your kids safe by restricting them from playing at parks and pools, but you can follow these tips for injury prevention to ensure their personal safety.
5 Common-Sense Child Injury Prevention Tips:
As a trial lawyer, by the time a family comes to me with an injured child, it’s too late. Parents need the most help before the injury happens, so they know how to prevent unsafe situations. During the warmer months of the year, your kids are exposed to new activities and places, and parents are easily distracted from their primary responsibility of safeguarding their child. Outdoor safety means learning about the risks involved with the following warm weather hazards:
- Sun Exposure: Limit the amount of time in the sun. If a child’s skin gets burnt, it can cause short and long-term damage. Wait until later in the day to play or swim outside when the sun is not in its peak hours.
- Heat Exhaustion: Make sure children drink plenty of fluids throughout the day. Wear loose, light-colored clothing if your child will be in the sun for extended periods of time. Plan outdoor activities in the morning or evening when the heat is not as intense.
- Pool Safety: Accompany your kids at the pool. Ensure they are using approved flotation devices. Be extra aware of a populated pool where your child could be jumped on, dunked, or not watched carefully by a lifeguard.
- Camping: Protect your kids from poison ivy and bugs that bite or carry diseases. Have a map of the area where you are camping and a family plan if you are separated. Keep a watch on the campfire that it doesn’t catch your tent on fire, or spark up surrounding brush that could be very dry from summer heat.
- Traveling: Kids are vulnerable to a variety of ailments when traveling, from motion sickness to viruses and infections. Plan ahead by packing any medications that will help, and keep your kids well rested and healthy before you leave. Finally, watch what they eat while you are away from home.
It’s important to protect children from the dangers that children can encounter in the summer and fall months as well as all year round. While my job as an attorney is to properly handle child injury cases, what’s most critical is to practice injury prevention by raising awareness and educating parents.
Ken Levinson is a child injury lawyer who actively speaks in the Chicago area and nationally on child injury prevention. In Levinson’s new book, Protecting Our Children, he draws from his experience as a trial lawyer to discuss how injuries occur and help parents proactively avoid crib death, school bullying, organized sports injuries, daycare injuries, street accidents, school bus hazards and more.
I'm a former 7th grade Science teacher turned stay-at-home mom that lives in Houston, Texas. I am married to my college sweetheart and have a beautiful daughter named Riley, who definitely keeps me on my toes! I am also involved in starting a small business which would both manufacture and sell an invention that I've patented, called Toothpaste 2 Go. I love interacting with my readers and hope to learn as much about you as you learn about me!