Taking a child to the emergency room is something every parent wants to avoid. While we can expect a fair share of bumps and bruises, we can take steps to help lower the odds of life-threatening injuries.
Are you doing all you can to protect your children from these childhood dangers?
Pool and Spa Drain Danger
Every year, almost 300 children under age five drown in a pool or spa. Another 5,100 children under age 15 end up in the ER after a near-drowning injury.
Drains in pools and spas can trap clothing, hair, or even a limb. The best way to prevent drain danger is to install a safe drain cover. Federal law requires public facilities to do so.
Pool and Spa Safety Tips:
- Install a proper fence around the perimeter of the pool or spa.
- Install latching gates and consider installing alarms if you have very young children.
- Teach children how to swim.
- Keep safety equipment nearby, and learn basic pool safety and CPR.
- Never leave children unattended near a pool or spa.
- Keep a phone close by.
- Make sure pool and spa covers are sturdy.
- Learn the signs of what drowning looks like (it looks different from the movies).
- For more pool and spa safety information, visit poolsafely.gov
The Dangerous Attraction of Magnets
Incidents of children ingesting magnets quintupled between 2002 and 2011, according to a study published in the Annals of Emergency Medicine, a publication of the American College of Emergency Physicians. Of cases where children ingested more than one magnet, 15.7 percent were admitted to the hospital. In almost 75 percent of cases, the magnets were swallowed, the rest were ingested through the nose.
“It is common for children to put things in their mouth and nose, but the risk of intestinal damage increases dramatically when multiple magnets are swallowed,” says study author Jonathan Silverman, MD, Department of Pediatrics, University of Washington in Seattle, Wash. “The ingestion of multiple magnets can severely damage intestinal walls to the point that some kids need surgery. The magnets in question were typically those found in kitchen gadgets or desk toys marketed to adults but irresistible to children.”
Magnet Safety Tips:
- Keep small magnets away from young children who might swallow them or put them in their nose.
- Regularly inspect your home and children’s play areas for missing or dislodged magnets.
- If you suspect that magnets have been swallowed, seek medical attention immediately. Symptoms include abdominal pains, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
Concussions and Other Sports-Related Injuries
About every 25 seconds, a child shows up in an emergency room with a sports-related injury, amounting to 1.35 million ER visits a year, according to Safe Kids Worldwide.
Concussions are the number one sports-related injury. Almost half of concussions involve athletes between the ages of 12 and 15. Football has the highest rate of concussions and of overall injuries. Wrestling and cheerleading have the second and third highest concussion rate. Ice hockey has the highest percentage of concussion injuries.
One in ten sports-related injuries involves knees, especially tears to the anterior cruciate ligament, an injury eight times more likely to occur in girls than boys. Other common injuries include strains and sprains, broken bones, and repetitive motion injuries.
How to Protect Young Athletes:
- Teach your kids not to “tough it out.” Have all injuries checked out by a medical professional.
- Make sure children don’t overdo and that they get plenty of rest.
- Learn strengthening exercises that can help prevent injuries.
- Learn the signs of concussion and act quickly.
- Use appropriate safety gear.
- For more sports safety information, visit safekids.org
Post Photo: “Keep kids in the game. Learn how to prevent sports injuries. SafeKids.org (PRNewsFoto/Safe Kids Worldwide)