During Florida summers, emergency room visits tend to increase across the state, and in many cases emergency room doctors in Hollywood, Miami, and other Florida cities are busy with injuries that are preventable. Summertime risks seem to especially affect children. Each year, about half of fatal injuries across the country affecting children 14 and younger take place during the summer months. There are many things that caregivers can do to help reduce the possibility of injury:
1) Install window guards. Each year, Florida head injuries are caused when children fall from windows. Window screens can easily break under the weight of a child, which is why window guards are more effective – they limit the amount of space a window can open.
2) Use extra caution with fire pits and barbeques. These can stay hot for hours after they are no longer lit, and this means that they can cause serious burn injuries. Each year, many Florida injuries are caused by unsupervised grills, barbeques, bon fires, and fire pits. Make sure that children are steered clear of these hazards until the grills or fire pits are completely cooled.
3) Avoid mowing when children are present. Each year, lawn mower accidents in Florida cause childhood amputations. It is important to never allow a child to ride a lawn mower. It is also important to only mow your yard during the daylight hours – at dark, you are less likely to see obstacles in your way.
4) Teach your children about water safety. Florida’s many lakes, rivers, and shorelines provide ample opportunity for recreation, but they also lead to Florida boating accidents and drowning accidents. When swimming, it is best to swim at a supervised, life-guarded guarded area and to swim with a friend. Boaters should get refresher courses and should wear life vests when boating. Young children should wear personal flotation devices on boats.
5) Instruct your children on the rules of the road. Your children should not play on the road or ride scooters, skateboards, in-line skates, or bicycles on busy streets. Each year, serious Florida bicycle accidents and pedestrian accidents occur on busy crosswalks. Instead, encourage your children to use well-frequented hike and bike trails near your home. If your children ride in-line skates, bicycles, scooters, or skateboards, make sure they wear a proper helmet each time. Look for a bright helmet that makes your child extra visible. Children younger than 10 years of age should not be bicycling or skateboarding along streets alone. They may be impulsive or have a hard time judging the dangers of different traffic situations.