What Causes Injuries to Children During the Summer?
If you ask any child what their favorite time of the year is, they'll likely say the summer. The obvious reason for this is because they don't have to go to school, but this freedom also happens when the weather is the nicest.
This means that the sun's out often and kids are more likely to engage in activities that are less common during the rest of the year. As a result, children tend to sustain the same types of injuries during the summer.
In particular, kids are at high risk of experiencing head injuries, broken bones, cuts, bruises, sprains, burns, and drowning. With this in mind, taking the proper safety precautions to prevent these types of injuries is an essential summer safety practice as a parent.
This begins with understanding what causes children to get injured during the summer. We've outlined some of the most common causes below to get you started.
Swimming Pools and Water Activities
Some of the most evident sources of summer injuries involve swimming pools and water activities.
With swimming pools, the main concerns involve drowning, falls on slippery ground, and waterborne illnesses. Children are more likely to swim during the summer to cool down. As a result, they spend more time in the water and increase their risk of encountering a problem.
Water activities are also more popular during the summer and this includes things like inner-tubing, kayaking, and surfing. These activities pose a particularly high drowning risk because equipment can turn against you and make it harder to stay afloat.
Swimming pools and water activities are always dangerous and simply more prevalent in the summer because it's the only time of year where it's warm enough to be in the water in most places.
Sports and Outdoor Activities
Sports and outdoor physical activities also result in many summer injuries. If not in the water, then kids love to explore the outdoors on land during summer. It's a great time to ride a bike, scooter, or skateboard and many kids do.
Unfortunately, biking accidents are incredibly common for children in the summer. This is largely because more kids are biking during this time. Other outdoor activities are also popular choices for kids. They might enjoy jumping on a trampoline, climbing trees, or practicing parkour. There's a lot that kids can do to stay physically active, but some activities are riskier than others.
The riskiest activities often tend to be the most fun, so this results in many injuries. Head injuries, broken bones, and sprains are a few common injuries that result from sports and outdoor activities. The outdoors are inherently risky, but kids are generally more carefree during the summer due to having fewer responsibilities. This causes them to make mistakes that end up in painful injuries.
Roughhousing and Misbehavior
Children that engage in roughhousing and other misbehavior also wind up with summertime wounds.
This is particularly relevant for boys, but it occasionally affects girls as well. Boys tend to be more physical with their play and often cause minor wounds.
Roughhousing is often fairly innocent, but it can still easily cause an injury because kids aren't considering their safety when they roughhouse. They might accidentally hit another child in the wrong spot or cause them to fall.
Misbehavior is another problem that young boys tend to face. They may be explicitly told not to do something for their safety, but do it anyway out of ignorance, pride, foolishness, or any other childish reason. This leads to situations where children get injured in avoidable situations. A child that climbs a tree despite knowing better and falls is a common example of this.
Putting this together, roughhousing and generally, bad behavior is more common during the summer when kids have more free time. This leads to injuries when kids underestimate their strength or are unaware of their surroundings.
Motorized vehicles also cause a good number of injuries during the summer.
Car accidents are the first thing that comes to mind, but these are also a hazard throughout the year. This mainly applies to vehicles like dirt bikes, all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), electric scooters, and similarly powered vehicles.
Kids are more likely to use motorized vehicles during the summer when it's nice out and they have the free time to do so. The issue is that children don't have the best judgment and may misuse their motorized vehicles.
The best example of this is a teen with a dirt bike that enjoys making ramps to jump off of. They may make an unstable ramp and crash, resulting in significant injuries like fractured bones and internal damage.
Motorized vehicles aren't particularly safe in the hands of adults, either. You often lack control over your vehicle, are vulnerable to your surroundings, and have no protection in an accident. Putting this power in the hands of a child makes an injury very likely.
Fire and Cooking
A final summer safety concern is cooking and fire. Children are more likely to experiment with cooking during the summer out of boredom and curiosity. During the school year, they may be too busy or stressed to consider learning a new skill like cooking.
While learning how to cook is an important life skill, it's also a dangerous process. Cooking involves heat and this always poses the risk of burns or a fire. Your child may also not know to avoid hazards like putting metal in the microwave or washing knives when switching foods to cut.
Should the worst-case scenario happen, your child may start a fire. This can cause serious damage to your house and can cause significant burns to your child and smoke inhalation. Another fire hazard during the summer involves campfires and bonfires. These are more popular during the summer and they're live fires that can easily cause serious wounds.
There are many potential burn hazards during the summer and this means more injuries.
Children are bound to make mistakes and get injured as they age, but some injuries are avoidable. During the summer, some injuries are more common due to the activities that kids tend to engage in.
Many popular summer activities can cause injuries if your kids aren't careful. This includes swimming pools and other water activities, sports and other outdoor activities, roughhousing and misbehavior, use of motorized vehicles, and cooking and/or fire use.
The summer is a time for fun and relaxing, but your kids must also stay safe. Keep them informed of all potential risks and help them understand why they matter. When your child is more informed, their risk of an injury will greatly decrease.