According to SafeKids.org, 1 million children are killed worldwide by preventable injuries each year. At the Bryan Trauma Center the number of children we see each year continues to rise, with the majority of these injuries being preventable.
Here are simple steps you can take to prevent injury in and around your home.
- Use safety nets and pads. Install a trampoline enclosure – a special net designed to surround the trampoline – and cover the trampoline’s springs, hooks and frame with shock-absorbing pads. Regularly check the equipment for tears and detachments
- Place the trampoline on level ground. Make sure it’s a safe distance from trees and other structures
- Limit trampoline activity. Allow only one person to use the trampoline at a time and supervise children at all times
- Be extra careful when mowing the lawn if children are outside playing
- Riding mowers are not a toy. Usually there are no safety belts and even under a watchful eye, a child can fall and come in contact with a moving blade or metal part which is hot enough to burn them
Playground Falls/Accidental Strangulation
- Supervise children at all times and intervene when there is inappropriate behavior such as pushing, shoving, etc.
- Make sure playground equipment is age appropriate. Maximum fall height should be five feet for preschool-aged children and seven feet for school aged children
- Avoid playgrounds with asphalt, concrete, grass and solid surfaces under the equipment. Look for surfaces of hardwood fiber, mulch chips, small gravel, fine sand or rubber to a depth of at least nine inches
- Children are always at risk for swimming injuries and accidental drowning, even if they are older and strong swimmers. Young children can tire suddenly, and struggle to get back to the edge of the pool. Make sure a parent is always in the pool area when children are swimming
- Young children and beginner swimmers should wear a certified life vest
- Pool covers should be closed when not in use
- Put your phone away, children can drown in seconds and it’s important for you to be alert and attentive at all times
- Young bikers, rollerbladers and skateboarders should always wear a helmet and ideally knee and elbow pads
- Helmets should fit properly to ensure the most protection
- Remind your child that tennis shoes are the proper footwear for these activities
Burns From Fire and the Sun
- Children should always be supervised around grills and campfires
- Never allow your child to spray lighter fluid directly on the BBQ or into a live fire
- Put sunscreen on your child 30 minutes prior to going outside
Last year alone the Bryan Trauma Center saw over 200 children. Following a couple of injury prevention tips can help us see fewer children this year. Have a wonderful and safe spring!