Kids love to spend hours outdoors daily. From sports games and practices to spending time at the playground, children are at risk of injuries that you may not anticipate as an adult. However, knowing what the most common childhood injuries are can help you supervise your child properly and prevent those accidental burns, scrapes and bruises.
Common Summertime Injuries
Whether your child is learning how to ride a bike or is a seasoned pro, accidents happen. In fact, bicycling accidents are among the most common reason for emergency room visits. Biking accidents can result in broken arms, mild concussions and even abdominal injuries. Teach your child to always wear a helmet as well as elbow and knee pads whenever they’re on their bike.
Between campfires and grills, there are a number of ways for your child to burn him or herself during the summertime. Most of the time, this can be prevented simply by adult supervision. Keep your child at a safe distance any time a fire is going and teach them to stay away from grills whenever they’re turned on.
Swings and monkey bars both create a high risk of head injuries for children. Head injuries incurred at the playground vary from bumps and bruises to concussions and even traumatic brain injuries.
Because children spend so much time outdoors during the summer, they are at a higher risk of getting stung by a bee. Usually stings will only cause mild discomfort; however, some children may suffer from a severe allergic reaction that could require immediate medical care. Show your children what it looks like to be aware of their surroundings so they can avoid dangerous insects like bees and wasps.
Common Playground Injuries
Studies show that more than 200,000 children annually suffer from playground-related injuries in the U.S. From the monkey bars to swings, playground can be dangerous when not used properly. Encourage your child to always follow the playground rules. You can also find playgrounds with soft bedding to further prevent injuries from falls.
Blunt trauma of any kind can cause internal injuries for a child. If a child falls from a high piece of equipment or even collides with a piece of equipment, he or she could easily suffer an injury internally.
Broken or Fractured Bones
Because children run quickly throughout the playground area, broken or fractured bones are at the top of the common playground injuries list. The forearm and wrist are the most common fractures in children.
Caused by falls and hard impacts, dislocations are a major risk for children at the playground. If your child runs into another child, piece of equipment or even something like a tree, he or she could easily suffer a dislocated joint.
Common Sports Injuries For Kids
Many children who participate in sports, especially those under the age of 8, are susceptible to injury. Because they are still growing and developing, young children are often slower to react than adults, putting them at risk of injury.
Sudden and often associated with some form of trauma, acute injuries include minor bruises, sprains and strains. Older children, such as teens, are at a higher risk of more severe injuries like broken bones and torn ligaments.
When too much stress is put on the bones and muscles, as a result of repetitive actions, it can cause an overuse injury. While all kids who are involved in sports are at risk, those who spend more time practicing and playing are at the highest risk.
Any time an athlete returns to his or her sport following an injury, he or she is at risk of a reinjury. Because the injured muscle or bone is still weak from the previous injury, putting stress on it can actually put the rest of the body at a greater risk of injury.
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How To Avoid Injuries
While there is no way to completely prevent your child from getting injured, there are things you can do around the house to keep him or her safe.
- Be sure to set your water heater no higher than 120 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Never leave the stovetop unattended when you are cooking (pot handles should always be turned out of reach).
- Make sure you have installed smoke alarms on each floor of your home.
- Throw out prescription and over-the-counter medications that are expired or unnecessary.
- Keep all chemicals, medications and cleaning solutions out of the reach of young children.
- Never leave your child unattended near water.
- Don’t leave a baby unattended on a changing table or other piece of high furniture.
To avoid playground-related injuries, it’s important your child knows the best practices when at the playground, whether in your backyard or at a public park. Be sure your child knows that he or she should only run in wide, open spaces where there is little risk of running into something or someone. Also, children should not hang from high equipment, such as monkey bars, without adult supervision. Finally, it’s smart to walk with your child around the playground if possible to ensure he or she knows each piece of equipment and if there are any unexpected nooks or crannies.
Finally, you can help to prevent sports injuries in a few ways. First and foremost is the use of proper equipment. Talk to your child’s coach about the appropriate helmets, shoes, mouth guards, athletic cups and padding. It’s also important that all playing surfaces be properly maintained to avoid holes and ruts. Prior to games, make sure your child warms up properly to reduce his or her chance of injury.
If your child has suffered from an injury, Medical City Children’s Urgent Care clinics are here for you.
Our qualified pediatric urgent care experts are experienced in evaluating kids with minor injuries and illnesses. Plus, we’re open after hours and on weekends.
Disclaimer: Patients’ health can vary. Always consult with a medical professional before taking medication, making health-related decisions or deciding if medical advice is right for you or your child.