MAYWOOD, Ill. – Unintentional injuries are the No. 1 cause of death in children in the United States. In fact, 2,000 children die each day worldwide from preventable injuries. With the summer months come an increased number of injuries.
“Kids are outside more, out of school and less supervised. This leads to an increased risk of injuries, anywhere from drowning to head injuries to skin infections from bug bites or poison ivy,” said Dr. Greg Ozark, associate professor of pediatrics at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine.
According to Ozark, adult supervision is the best preventive measure and it’s about more than just keeping an eye on your kids. Parents need to set safety rules for their kids and follow them as well.
“Many of us didn’t grow up wearing helmets while we biked and it might seem strange at first. I tell my patients I don’t want them to wear a helmet because I doubt their ability to steer a bike. You wear a helmet to protect yourself from the person who isn’t paying attention,” Ozark said. “Your children are watching you. They are more likely to do what they see you doing than to do what they hear you saying."
Serious injuries and even death can happen quickly. Most drownings happen when a child has been out of a parent’s sight for less than 5 minutes. To help limit injuries, Ozark shares a few tips to keep your kids safe while enjoying some summer activities.
Wheeled activities, such as bicycle riding:
“Be wary, supervise and think about what are potential consequences that could occur by your child’s activity,” Ozark said. “Whether they are toddlers or teens, there is no age that doesn’t need to be supervised.”
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