Every summer children are admitted to T.C. Thompson Children’s Hospital at Erlanger with injuries from outdoor activities. While the majority of summer activities are fun, when they result in childhood injury, trauma and even death, they become the worst times a family can experience. Please follow the three rules listed below for a safe and fun summer:
- Lawn Mowers: Children should never be near a mower of any type. Approximately five children are seen every year at Children’s for severe injuries from lawnmowers, including leg, foot, arm and hand amputations. Do not let children ride, play behind or around an operating mower. Children who ride are never secure on the mower, and mowers can cause projectiles that injure or even kill a child.
- Swimming: There should always be an adult serving as the “active watcher” for children. There has already been one childhood death from drowning in the region. Most drownings happen when adults are present. It is never enough for an adult to be near the swimming area; designate one adult to be the active watcher
- Cars: Never leave your child unattended in a car. As the outdoor temperature climbs, adults forget how hot a vehicle can get. If it is hot to you, it is too hot for a child. Since May, 15 children have died in the U.S. after they were left in a hot car.
Here are some more tips to keep your children safe this summer.
- Never allow a child in the area when you or someone else is mowing.
- Educate your child about the dangers of lawnmowers. Sometimes books or telling a story can help them understand.
- Do not allow your pre-teen to mow the yard with a riding mower. Riding mowers can flip easily on steep inclines.
- Lawnmowers are not the same as an ATV even with the blades up. Children should never be allowed to ride on a lawnmower.
- Never leave a child unattended in any type of water such as a pool, lake or even a bathtub. Children can drown in as little as one inch of water if their face is in the water and they are unable to get out.
- Designate an “active watcher,” a person who will provide undivided attention to the surrounding area. It is also helpful for adults to take turns as an “active watcher” so everyone can take a break.
- Children should also take breaks while swimming so they do not become overly tired and have trouble swimming.
- If a child goes under water several times and comes up choking, it is best to keep him or her out of the water for the rest of the day to recover.
- Children should be outfitted with approved personal floatation devices and in the correct size while in the water. Make sure the device is on properly and is the correct size for your child.
- If you have a pool or you are visiting someone who has a pool, talk to your children to ensure they understand safety tips, how to get in and out of the water properly and provide rules they must follow.
- Teach your children basic swimming techniques so they know how to float if they are tired or swim to a safer location. Swim lessons are also offered by community pools and local recreation organizations.
- Remind yourself your child is still in the back seat by placing something you always have with you (purse, book bag, mobile device, etc.) next to your child, writing yourself a note and sticking it to your side window or downloading one of several new apps that will text you at the time you normally drop off your child at daycare or sitter.
- Never, ever, leave a child in the car even for a few minutes. Sometimes situations may take longer than you think. Children can heat up very quickly even in moderate temperatures.
- Children who are left in a vehicle unattended have an opportunity to play. This can lead to buttons pushed and levers released and a dangerous situation of locking the vehicle or lifting the brake.
- Never assume leaving your child in a vehicle could not possibly happen to you. Incidents have been reported in all socio-economic levels.
Summertime can be fun. We just ask you to put safety first. Your children are important to us. Please keep them safe so the entire family can enjoy summer and all the other seasons ahead of them.
Children’s Hospital at Erlanger
Michael Carr, M.D., Pediatric Trauma Medical Director;
Marisa Moyers, RN;
Coy Ellis, RN, BSN, CPEN, Safe and Sound Injury Prevention;
Alan Kohrt, M.D., Medical Director;
Cynthia Rhodes, RN, MSN, Administrator;
Darvey Koller, M.D., Medical Director Emergency Department
Leslie Phelps, RN, BSN, MSHCA Emergency Department Manager
Greg Talbot, M.D., Medical Director Pediatric Intensive Care
Jim Coles, RN, BSN, Pediatric Intensive Care Manager