Summertime is here, school is out, and children everywhere are enjoying time outside in the sun. Extra caution is urged now that a recent study has named July as potentially the most dangerous month of the year for children. The study found that almost half of unintentional fatalities and injuries to children 14 and under occur between May and August, with the greatest number happening in July.
Some doctors refer to summertime as “trauma season” because it is expected that approximately three million children will be rushed to emergency facilities this summer for a variety of injuries.
Experts suggest that parents take extra caution to prevent the following:
The most common location for drowning fatalities among young children is the residential swimming pool, with open gates figuring in up to 70 percent of fatalities. More than 1,200 child drownings are connected to boating. An example of a child drowning often involves a toddler temporarily left unattended or watched by an older sibling, and in children younger than one year old, bathtub drowning is the most common.
Prevention steps are essential to decreasing drowning risks. Parents are advised to assign “water watchers” in 15-minute increments, learn CPR, teach children swimming safety, insist on extra caution around pool drains and suction outlets, and insist on using life jackets.
It only takes a few minutes for a child’s body to be overcome by the heat. Nationally, more than 800 children have suffered from heatstroke after being left in an unattended vehicle since 1990. Additionally, about 30 percent of child heat stroke fatalities happen when children are playing in an unattended vehicle.
Prevention of hot car fatalities is possible when caution is exercised. Children should never be left alone in a car, even for a few minutes. Children should be taught not to play in vehicles, including in trunks. Car doors and trunks should be locked with keys kept out of sight. If a child goes missing, check the car and trunk immediately.
The top ten summer activities associated with injuries are basketball, bicycles, baseball, soccer, softball, trampolines, inline skating, horseback riding, weightlifting, and volleyball. Wearing a helmet while participating in many of these activities can reduce the risk of a head injury. This is especially important since nearly half a million head injuries involve concussions or skull fractures. Attentive adult supervision can stave off many childhood injuries.
If your child has been harmed in any way due to the negligence of another, please call the New Jersey personal injury lawyers at Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow & McElroy, LLP at 732-777-0100, or contact us online for a free consultation. Our offices are centrally located in Red Bank, Toms River, and Edison, and we serve clients throughout New Jersey.