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For Kids Under 19, Summer is “Trauma Season” in the E.R.

Jordan Tyczka, MSN, RN, CEN, TCRN is the Trauma Services Educator for the Inova Virts Miller Family Emergency and Trauma Center. Inova Loudoun Hospital is Loudoun County’s first and only designated trauma center.  Learn more at inova.org/trauma

Cars, bikes, pools, lawn mowers and grills present most common dangers

child on bike with helmet on

Finally, summer is here! Fire up the barbeque, jump into the pool and dust off that bicycle for a ride. But before you do, know this: Summer is considered “trauma season” for children under the age of 19. Pediatric visits to emergency rooms (ERs) spike during the next three months. Many of these visits can be avoided with simple injury-prevention efforts.

Top 5 injuries that bring children to the ER in summer:

  1. Motor vehicle collisions. This is the #1 cause of death for children. The 100 days between Memorial Day and Labor Day are particularly deadly, especially for teenage drivers. Every time your children get in the car, make sure they are properly restrainedno exceptions!
  2. Head injuries. The biggest offender: bicycles. In 2015, bikes were associated with more injuries that skateboards, trampolines, swimming pools and playground equipment combined. Bike trails in Northern Virginia get crowded in the summer. Be sure your children are wearing appropriately fitting protective gear every time they get on a bike. If they are ever involved in a crash, replace their helmet!
  3. Lawn mower injuries. This is not an adults-only injury – plenty of children get hurt as well. You’ll probably cut the grass up to 30 times this summer. Each time, ensure children and pets are inside. You never know when one may run up from behind and slip, colliding with the mower. Also, blades can send rocks and sticks flying.
  4. Burns. Practice these safe grilling tips:
    • Grill outside and away from structures, including overhanging tree branches
    • Keep your grill CLEAN – buildups of fat and grease can cause a fire
    • If you have a gas grill, check for propane leaks by spraying soapy water around the connection (If you see bubbles, you have a leak)
  5. Swimming. Summer is prime time for drownings and near drownings. Children should be supervised whenever they are in the pool. If you have a pool at your home, alarm both your house doors and the fence or gate surrounding the pool. Another important tip: learn CPR. Sign up for a class today.

Share these Top 5 Prevention Tips with your kids:

  • Wear a helmet on anything with wheels.
  • Wear bug/tic repellent, but not on your face or hands. DEET is toxic if swallowed. Wash bug spray off before bed. 
  • Wear sunscreen and/or sun-protective clothing when outside. Reapply sunscreen at least every two hours if swimming or sweating.
  • Drink plenty of water. Dehydration can happen quickly in hot weather. Drink water before exercise or games and during breaks.
    Jump with caution. Take turns playing on the trampoline and NO somersaults! Kids under six should not be on a full-sized trampoline.

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