“Must Watch” Summertime Injuries

Summertime is a time to kick up your feet, close your eyes and bask in the sun’s warmth. But if you have young children, you’ll want to keep your eyes wide open this season. While out of school, kids tend to be more active, so there are more opportunities for mishaps. Lucille Folino, D.O., family medicine physician with Meritus Urgent Care, shares her top three “must watch” activities:

Trampolines. “They need to go,” says Dr. Folino. According to Dr. Folino, trampolines cause 100,000 injuries each year and three-quarters of those injuries occur when more than one person is jumping. Dr. Folino says while parents believe netting around the trampoline keeps kids safe, it’s the collisions on the mat that is cause for concern.

Doc Tip: An adult should supervise all trampoline activity and enforce a “one jumper at a time” rule.

Pools. Dr. Folino says drowning is the second leading cause of death due to injury in children less than five years old. In addition, half of drownings happen in backyard pools and a third occur at a friend’s or relative’s pool. “When kids go under water, they’re not flapping their arms,” says Dr. Folino. “Drowning is a quiet killer.”

Doc Tip: Designate one adult to supervise the pool and make an effort to learn CPR.

Bikes and playgrounds. Head injuries and broken bones often occur at the playground or when riding a bike. “If your child falls from a height that is equal to or greater than 10 feet or twice her height, go to the emergency department,” says Dr. Folino. Additionally, any significant head injury should always be evaluated by an emergency department physician.

Doc Tip: Always wear a properly fitted bike helmet, make sure the bike is appropriately sized for your child and don’t listen to music while biking. To reduce the risk of injury while on the playground, look for an ample padding of mulch or shredded tire that covers the playground’s surface.

The providers of Meritus Urgent Care treat summertime problems such as skin irritations, insect bites, sunburns, sprains and most fractures. However, Dr. Folino emphasizes that head injuries, heat stroke, blistering burns and some broken bones must be seen at the emergency department. “If it’s a compound fracture or deformity of the bone that looks like a swan’s neck, you should go to the emergency department.”