Summertime and playtime go hand in hand but, unfortunately, so do increased accidents and injuries. In fact, across the U.S., emergency rooms see a 15-27% rise during the summer months. Here are some ways to prevent a trip to the ER.
Head off injuries
Whether it's rollerblading, biking, skateboarding or riding a scooter, wearing a helmet is the way to go. For kids under 16, wearing a helmet is the law. A helmet should fit comfortably and not too tightly with straps fastened. Look for one that is certified by the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC).
Know the rules of the road
Make sure your children know the rules of the road when they’re out riding bikes, including riding on the right side of the road, knowing the proper hand signals, and never wearing headphones while cycling.
Stretch before play
Most adults know that stretching is important but forget to pass that wisdom along to their kiddos. Make sure children properly warm up and stretch before outdoor sports and activities. Stretching helps prevent muscle tears or sprains, especially as kids move from one activity to the next. Also, have them stretch after activities, which can reduce the risk of injuries.
Jump for joy
Trampolines should always be fully enclosed with netting, located away from concrete surfaces, and the springs should be permanently covered to prevent getting caught in them. Be sure to supervise children while they are jumping. One jumper at a time will prevent collisions.
Fuel up with fresh food
Increased heat leads to more food-borne illnesses during the summer months. Food that has been left out of the refrigerator for more than one hour should not be eaten. This is especially true for items made with mayonnaise, eggs, and milk, as well as poultry, seafood, and meat, which are a major source of food poisoning.