COLUMBUS – Nationally this summer nearly three million children will be rushed to emergency rooms for serious injuries resulting from motor vehicle crashes, drowning, bike crashes, pedestrian incidents, falls and other hazards.
Trauma Season is the time when injuries tend to peak during the summer months (May-August) for children ages 14 and younger, so the Ohio Department of Public Safety’s Division of Emergency Medical Services (EMS) is encouraging parents and caregivers to take extra precaution while children are participating in activities.
In recent years, there were 18,033 children ages 0-15 years transported by EMS during Trauma Season in Ohio. Thirty-four percent or 6,103 of those were transported due to an injury. A total of 1,645 were admitted for longer than 48 hours for treatment of injuries.
EMS personnel train all-year-around responding to injuries. However, parents and caregivers can prevent many summer-related injuries with safety gear, proper education and parental supervision. By teaching children early on about good safety habits, they may be able to avoid future visits to the emergency room.
The EMS Division encourages parents and caregivers to focus on different aspects of safety during Trauma Season and share topics such as lawnmower safety, swimming safety, and pedestrian safety with their children. The Division is offering these overall tips as a guide to avoiding some of the more common injuries:
•Secure children in the appropriate child safety seat or seat belt for their age and size. Kids should always be secured in the back seat. Never leave a child unattended in a vehicle, especially during the warmer months.
• Always supervise young children near water and insist children wear personal flotation devices when on boats, near open bodies of water or participating in water sports.
•Make sure kids wear properly fitting protective gear every time they ride their bikes, scooters, ATVs or skateboards. Teach children the rules of the road.
•Never let a child under age 10 cross the street alone. Teach children to obey traffic rules. Make sure kids wear retro-reflective materials, and don’t let them walk alone at night. If they must walk at dawn or at dusk, make sure they carry a flashlight.
• Always supervise children at playgrounds or in the backyard. Make sure they play on a safe surface, such as mulch, rubber or fine sand.
The Ohio Department of Public Safety, through the Division of EMS, oversees the certification of emergency medical technicians and firefighters and ensures that the professionals in these lifesaving roles are properly trained, educated and prepared for emergency situations.