Protecting Against Summertime Injuries
● By Sandy Kauten
- Avoid sunburns by using sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher and reapply it at least every two hours. Wear loose, long-sleeved clothes and hats for added protection, and avoid skin exposure during peak sun hours (12-3 p.m.).
- Provide constant, undistracted supervision when your children are near water. All kids need to be supervised, no matter their swimming skills. If a child is under the age of 5, the supervising adult should be within arm's length, providing "touch supervision." Never assume that a child who knows how to swim is not at risk for drowning.
- Invest in properly fitting, Coast Guard-approved life vests, and have kids (and adults) wear them whenever they are near water. Pool toys, water wings and other floaties are not reliable flotation devices and may give children and parents a false sense of security.
- Always monitor kids around campfires. Fire pits pose an increased risk of burns to children, even after the fire is put out.
- Playgrounds are a common location for falls and broken bones. Keep a close eye on your kids, especially young ones, to reduce the risk of falling from play structures.
- Be aware that trampolines are not meant for kids under the age of 12, due to fragile, growing bones. Even after age 12, only one child at a time should bounce on a trampoline.
- Be prepared for emergencies by keeping your family’s first aid kit and supplies in your car. In addition, freeze several water bottles and put them in a cooler so they can be used as an icepack if needed.
If you have teens, be sure to check in with them—know who they are with, what they are doing, where they will be and when they will be home. A little planning and extra vigilance can help ensure your family stays safe while enjoying our beautiful Oregon summer.
by Pilar Bradshaw, M.D., F.A.A.P.
Eugene Pediatric Associates