Accident Proofing Kids: May 18, 2012

Summer: its prime time for kids and accidents, some severe enough to require emergency treatment.

“We at the Trauma Center look at trends and we base our programming and our outreach upon what the trends show us. So if we see a spike in something we really need to go out there and bring those numbers down,” says Mark Tesoro, a trauma analyst with Lee Memorial Health System.

Which explains why so much time and effort goes into promoting car safety. Vehicle accidents pose the biggest risk for people overall, including the young.

“That’s where we see very severe injuries and if I look at death, motor vehicle collision is number one,” says Michael Marcus, trauma program manager for Lee Memorial Health System.

Car seats, seat belts and obeying traffic laws go a long way in accident prevention, but kids face additional hazards off the road. The number one reason children go to the hospital relates to falls.

“With kids climbing up on furniture and perhaps grabbing a hold of a television and winds up falling down on top of them or perhaps climbing a desk,” says Marcus.

Falls are more likely to result in broken bones rather than death. Another of the top childhood traumas are sports injuries.

“Because kids are in sports camps and those kinds of things so you tend to see a little more fractures and a little more head injuries,” says Tesoro.

Dehydration is something parents often overlook. The CDC recommends children under 90 pounds have five ounces of whatever every 20 minutes.

“So if a child’s gulp is about a half an ounce you need to have about ten good gulps every 20 minutes for a child to be hydrated correctly,” says Tesoro.

When it comes to accident proofing your kids, luck favors the prepared.

“They key is prevention. Once it happens you can’t undo it,” says Marcus.