Kids can't wait for summer. However, along with school vacation, warm weather and outdoor sports comes an extra dose of responsibility for parents. Unintentional injuries are the leading cause of death for children ages 1 to 14 in the U.S. Children's Healthcare of Atlanta advises adults to take precautions so their kids can have a fun and safe summer vacation.
Water Wisdom: Constant Supervision is Key
Drowning is the second leading cause of unintentional death of children age 14 and under, taking the lives of nearly 900 children each year. Most occur in swimming pools, but lakes, rivers and oceans can also be dangerous. Children playing in smaller bodies of water, such as wading pools, bathtubs, buckets, toilets, spas and hot tubs should also be supervised.
Children's is partnering to encourage parents to become "Water Watchers" this summer. Although many parents are nearby when their children are in or around the water, most do not devote 100 percent of their attention to supervising playtime. Recent research by Johnson & Johnson shows that 88 percent of children who drowned were under adult supervision and that parents are overconfident about their children's safety and abilities around water. Because drowning can occur silently and in a matter of seconds, at least one parent or adult should always be a completely focused "Water Watcher," dedicated to monitoring children playing in the water.
In addition to constant supervision, parents should also keep in mind the following water safety tips:
Sun Safety: Avoid Unnecessary Aches and Burns
Now that the warm weather is in full force, kids are eager to enjoy outdoor activities. Unfortunately, excessive exposure to the sun can cause suffering and even permanent damage if the proper precautions are not taken.
Precautions as Summer Sports Heat Up
Playing sports in hot weather can be enjoyable, but sometimes dangerous. Each year, young athletes die from heat-related illness. With their heavy uniforms and intense practices, football players are especially vulnerable. Also at risk for heat-related illness are overweight or out of shape children, as well as those who are new to a warm climate. Additionally, children who have suffered from a heat-related illness in the past, or are currently taking cold or allergy medications or certain treatments for Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), should be carefully monitored.
The severity of heat injury ranges from mild heat cramps to heat stroke and even death. Heat stroke is the third most common cause of exercise-related death in U.S. high school athletes. But there is one important fact to remember — heat-related illness is preventable.
One of the key factors to avoiding heat illness is hydration. Parents can use the following tips to prevent dehydration and identify the signs:
In addition, parents should consider these workout tips during warm weather months:
Kids in Hot Cars: Any Length of Time is Too Much
Every year, millions of terrified parents hear the stories of children who were left in a car during the summer, too often resulting in severe illness and even death. Sadly, all of these tragedies were 100 percent preventable. Parents can avoid such a tragedy by remembering a few simple rules.
Summer shouldn't be a scary time, but it also shouldn't be spent in the hospital. By taking a few extra measures, parents can make sure that more time is spent poolside than bedside this summer.
Provided by Children's Healthcare of Atlanta
About Children's Healthcare of Atlanta
Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, one of the leading pediatric healthcare systems in the country, is pleased to offer summer tips for parents and their children. Click on the links for more information. Children's experts are also available for interviews pertaining to these topics, as well as additional pediatric health care issues. Please contact Children's 24-hour, 7-day-a-week media pager at 404-570-9717 to reach a public relations representative immediately. Children's is a not-for-profit organization that benefits from the generous philanthropic and volunteer support of our community. Operating three hospitals with more than half a million patient visits annually, Children's is recognized for excellence in cancer, cardiac, neonatal, orthopaedic and transplant services, as well as many other pediatric specialties. Visit our Web site at www.choa.org or call 404-250-KIDS to learn more about Children's Healthcare of Atlanta.
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