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Injuries increase during summer for children due to more risk

Jul. 04, 2013 @ 11:50 PM

Summer is a wonderful time to celebrate outdoors. From patriotic picnics to family festivities, the options for fun are endless; but, unfortunately, so are the possibilities for injury.

Injury rates are highest during the summer months for children and teenagers because it is the time when they are exposed to more risks. According to the Ohio Department of Health, the majority of unintentional injury deaths from May through August involve drowning, biking, falls, motor vehicle occupant activities and pedestrian incidents.

Following a few simple guidelines will help you and your family stay safer this summer.

Actively supervise your child when engaging in summertime activities, such as swimming and playing on playground equipment or in backyards.

Use the right safety gear for your child's activities, such as helmets, car seats, and life jackets.

Role model proper safety behavior. Children are more likely to follow safety rules when they see their parents doing so.

Surround your pool or spa with a four-sided fence to keep children safe. The fence should be at least four feet high with self-closing, self-latching gates. An inflatable pool needs to be surrounded by a fence, just like any other pool, and parents need to empty these pools when not in use.

Make sure your home playground is safe. Keep 12 inches of safe surfacing, such as mulch, shredded rubber or fine sand, extending at least six feet in all directions around the equipment. Remove hood and neck drawstrings from your child's clothing.

Check for children around vehicles. Walk all the way around a parked vehicle to check for children before entering a car and starting the motor. Don't let children play in driveways, streets, parking lots or unfenced yards adjacent to busy streets.

Other common-sense measures include keeping children away from grills, removing potential poisons from your yard and applying sunscreen for outside play. With a little forethought and preparation your summer can be a fun, injury-free, season.

Source: Safe Kids US and the Ohio Department of Health

Healthy Habits 2013 is a partnership among Cabell Huntington Hospital, Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine and St. Mary's Medical Center. We are a community working together to improve our health. Our goal is a simple one: to inform and encourage area residents on ways to improve their health. Join our conversation and "like" us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/healthyhabits2013.