Injury Prevention

Summertime is Trauma Season

By: Brendan Campbell, MD, MPH and Kevin Borrup, DrPH, JD, MPA

Summer is a time for fun and play for children, but it is also a time when injuries occur at greater frequency compared to other times of the year. The time period between Memorial Day and Labor Day is referred to as trauma season because children are at increased risk of injury.

Connecticut Children’s Injury Prevention Center is committed to raising awareness about potential hazards that children may encounter and encourages caregivers to take appropriate precautions. Here are 8 simple tips that will keep you safer this summer:

  • Practice water safety: Always supervise children closely around pools, lakes, or the ocean. Young and inexperienced swimmers should wear life jackets while in the water. Everyone should wear life jackets while riding in a boat.
  • Wear a helmet: Helmets can dramatically decrease your risk of head injury if you are riding a bicycle, motorcycle, or ATV.
  • Know the basics of fire safety: Always supervise children around fires. Never use gasoline as an accelerant on a fire.
  • Use caution around fireworks: Do not allow young children to handle fireworks. Fireworks can cause life-threatening injuries and even sparklers can cause serious burns or eye injuries.
  • Know the signs of heat-related illnesses: Plan outdoor activities early or late in the day, and avoid lengthy exposures to heat and direct sunlight. Always use sunscreen and drink plenty of fluids. Never leave a child inside a car, as they heat up to deadly temperatures within minutes.
  • Use window guards: Window guards help to ensure that window open no more than four inches and prevent children from falling out of them.
  • Buckle up: Always ensure children are appropriately restrained in a motor vehicle with either a seatbelt, booster seat, or car seat, whichever is appropriate for their age.
  • Slow down while driving: Children are often outside playing during summer months. Go slow and watch out for them!

Injuries are not accidents. They are predictable and preventable events. By taking a few precautions, caregivers can greatly lessen the risk of injury to children during trauma season so they can enjoy the summer and avoid spending time in an Emergency Department or the Operating Room.

Dr. Campbell provided similar advice to the American College of Surgeons, where he serves as chair of the Injury Prevention and Control Committee. Read the article and watch the video here.

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