SATURDAY, July 24 (HealthDay News) -- Falls, bicycle crashes,
burns, motorized vehicle accidents and near-drownings are the
leading causes of hospitalization for American children during the
summer, experts say.
These types of incidents are both predictable and preventable,
according to Dr. Kathy Nuss, associate medical director of trauma
services at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, and
Falls consistently top the list of causes of summertime injuries
suffered by children. While objects such as trampolines are widely
recognized as dangerous, children often suffer injuries from things
considered much safer by parents, Nuss noted in a news release from
"We see a lot of kids falling from playground equipment during the summer months. If possible, find playgrounds that are spread with mulch or shredded tire; these surfaces add more cushion versus concrete or blacktop," Nuss said the news release.
Bicycles are another major cause of injury. Nearly 400,000
children younger than 19 are treated at hospital emergency
departments each year for bicycle-related injuries, according to
the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children's.
Injuries to the arms and legs are the most common, but head
injuries are the most serious.
Nuss said children should always wear a helmet when riding a
bicycle, use hand signals, and walk the bicycle across busy streets
and intersections. Parents need to make sure the bike's seat and
handlebars fit the child.
The types of burn injuries suffered by children vary by age.
Older children more often suffer flash burns, which result from
direct contact with flames, such as campfires or fireworks. Younger
children are more prone to scald burns, which can be caused by hot
water or by pulling hot food off a counter.
Parents should keep hot foods and beverages away from the edges
of tables or countertops, and supervise older children when they're
using fireworks or near a campfire, advised Nuss, who is also an
associate professor of pediatrics at the Ohio State University
College of Medicine.
Many children are attracted to motorized vehicles such as cars,
scooters, golf carts and ATVs. Parental supervision is the key to
preventing injuries from these dangers, safety experts say.
Drownings and near-drownings often occur in backyard swimming
pools or landscape ponds, but can also occur in just a few inches
of water. Parents should always practice touch supervision, meaning
they need to be close enough to reach out to a child at any time.
Children should always wear an approved flotation device when in a
pool and parents should be certified in CPR.
"While it may be difficult to avoid these common summer injuries, it's important for parents to keep a close eye on their kids this summer," Nuss said.
The Nemours Foundation offers parents
safety and first aid tips.