‘Summer-proof’ your home

Written by on July 7, 2022

From helmet safety to choking prevention tips, here's how to "summer-proof" your kids.

July 4 has come and gone and now we enter the second half of summer. The emergency room has returned to its pre-pandemic quantity of sufferers. Households and children are interacting and touring this summer time greater than any time in the previous few years. For this week’s column, I needed to share some “suggestions from the ER” for fogeys on how you can summer-proof and shield your children this season.

Choking prevention suggestions

Nothing will get our hearts racing extra in my ER than when a “code white” is known as overhead. This name signifies that the paramedics are bringing a toddler to the ER in cardiac or respiratory arrest. Usually this is because of a choking accident. The truth is, choking is a number one reason behind harm and loss of life amongst kids below four years of age.

Summer season is the time for BBQs and playdates with buddies that always function sizzling canines, which might pose a fantastic danger of loss of life. Your finest wager is to easily not give children below four any sizzling canines. If you happen to should, cut hot dogs lengthwise or into quarters. By no means reduce them into spherical circles.

Different meals that I steadily see as causes of choking embrace uncooked carrots, arduous sweet, nuts and seeds. Grapes also needs to be reduce into quarters. The secret is to keep away from the extra harmful spherical form of any meals that might turn out to be lodged within the throat.

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One of the best helmets for youths

A helmet is completely important for any child who’s using a bicycle, skateboarding or curler blading/skating. All helmets manufactured after 1999 should adjust to the obligatory security normal issued by the Client Product Security Fee however all the time make sure to verify the within of the helmet for this label.

For teenagers who do a number of sports activities and actions, it’s necessary that the suitable helmet is worn for the game. Bicycle helmets are designed to resist a single head-forward impression. Skate helmets are designed to resist a number of impacts over time. All the time retire any helmet that has been concerned in a crash and purchase a brand new one. 

For biking, there are each hard- and soft-shell helmets. The principle distinction as you possibly can guess is sturdiness vs type and luxury. The hard-shell helmet could also be heavier, hotter and fewer fashionable however this isn’t an space the place I’d sacrifice sturdiness. Select a hard-shell helmet.

Ought to children use wrist guards?

Dad and mom also needs to strongly take into account wrist guards for his or her children. When thrown from a bicycle or falling off a skateboard, the pure inclination is to position our palms out in entrance of us to interrupt our fall. In my expertise within the ER, accidents to the knees and elbows are often restricted to minor pores and skin tears or abrasions. However the wrists take in a whole lot of drive that may trigger bone fractures within the wrist or forearm.

Protected insect repellant for the household

Summer season means longer days and extra time exterior. It additionally means extra publicity to mosquitos. And sadly, uncommon insect-borne diseases like Zika and West Nile Illness are on the rise resulting from local weather change, extra excessive seasonal climate occasions and quickly altering ecology.

Even with out the added menace of sickness, a number of mosquito bites might be painful for a kid and result in cellulitis, or an infection of the pores and skin, a frequent reason behind ER visits that might require antibiotics.

As a rule of thumb, insect repellant ought to solely be used on kids over 2 months of age.

DEET is an EPA-approved and protected insect repellant. Recent research additional affirmed DEET’s security. Keep in mind that 10% DEET gives 2 hours of safety, and 30% gives 5 hours of safety, for instance. Youngsters shouldn’t be utilizing a product with greater than 30% DEET.

If you wish to keep away from DEET, insect repellants containing picaridin are additionally authorized by the EPA. Picaridin has the extra benefit of retaining mosquitos at a higher distance, making them even much less more likely to land in your pores and skin.

There’s no scarcity of dwelling and “pure” cures that individuals have tried to push back mosquitos. Researchers printed this wonderful 2018 study of multiple home remedies for these on the lookout for extra info on what truly works and what doesn’t.

Trampoline accidents

Simply don’t. The American Academy of Pediatrics has been agency that solely supervised athletes coaching for diving or gymnastics ought to use a trampoline.

An average of 100,000 trampoline-related injuries are reported a year primarily based on a current analysis research. Falls are the key supply of accidents and can lead to devastating cervical backbone accidents with everlasting injury. Bone fractures, concussions and critical sprains are additionally quite common.

If that’s not sufficient to dissuade you from retiring your trampoline keep in mind that many householders insurance coverage insurance policies don’t cowl trampoline-related harm.

Further tricks to summer-proof your youngster:

  • Encourage frequent water and hydration breaks
  • Reapply sunscreen usually
  • Kids previous and huge sufficient to make use of the automobile seat belt ought to all the time use lap and shoulder seat belts for optimum safety; kids lower than 13 ought to all the time be restrained within the rear seats

Michael Daignault, MD, is a board-certified ER physician in Los Angeles. He studied World Well being at Georgetown College and has a Medical Diploma from Ben-Gurion College. He accomplished his residency coaching in emergency medication at Lincoln Medical Middle within the South Bronx. He’s additionally a former United States Peace Corps Volunteer. Discover him on Instagram @dr.daignault

Extra:Got an injury? Should you reach for an ice pack or heating pad?

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