Your Health Tamar Raucher | one year ago

Child’s Play: Keeping Kids Safe All Year Long

Nothing derails fun faster than a bump, bruise or broken bone. Staying safe while playing outside and enjoying fresh air in the Carolinas is easier with preparation.

Sean M. Fox, MD, with Carolinas HealthCare System’s pediatric emergency department at Levine Children’s Hospital, says keeping children safe and healthy during the warm days of summer and fall has its own special challenges. “We, of course, see a fair amount of sprains and fractures in the warmer weather,” says Dr. Fox. “Allergic reactions to bee stings, severe sunburn and heatstroke add to the typical medical emergencies families will deal with.” But mishap can quickly turn to tragedy with two of the biggest dangers of warm weather: lawn mower accidents and drowning.

Lawn Care Safety

According to Brian P. Scannell, MD, pediatric orthopedic surgeon with Levine Children’s Hospital, part of Carolinas HealthCare System, lawn mower safety should be front and center for all parents year-round. “We see devastating injuries every year that are life changing for children,” says Dr. Scannell. “There are more than 20,000 injuries every year in the United States. The most common injures we see are in young children under five who wander into the yard while someone is mowing – or who are passengers on a riding lawn mower.” According to Dr. Scannell, the majority of lawn mower injuries to children could be avoided if children under 14 were not permitted to operate or to be around a running lawn mower.

Water Caution

As infants and toddlers, kids are dependent upon adults to keep them safe around water. Adequate supervision is the best means to help protect against drowning, even with older children. Dr. Scannell gives the following sound advice for families:
  • Do not permit any child under 14 to operate a lawn mower.
  • Do not permit any child under 16 to operate a riding lawn mower.
  • All young children should be kept inside while lawn mowers are being operated.
  • Objects should be removed from the lawn prior to starting (eliminates or decreases risk for projectile injuries).
  • NEVER allow children to ride as passengers on riding lawn mowers.
  • Never leave a young child unattended near water, and do not trust a child’s life to another child.
  • The supervising person should be close enough to touch the child.
  • Teach children to always ask permission to go near water.
  • Swim only in designated areas supervised by lifeguards.
  • Always swim with a buddy. Even at a public pool or a lifeguarded beach, use the buddy system!
  • Home pools should have intact, protective fencing surrounding them.
  • Have young children or inexperienced swimmers wear US Coast Guard-approved life jackets around water, but do not rely on life jackets alone.

You’re Covered

Carolinas HealthCare Urgent Care has 27 locations throughout the Carolinas, including three specifically for children. These pediatric urgent care locations are staffed by board-certified pediatricians and are open 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., seven days a week. Located in the following neighborhoods: Cotswold, Blakeney, Monroe Find urgent care wait times online at CarolinasHealthCare.org/Wait-Times