By now, most kids have begun their summer vacation.‑ The pools are open, and the parks are teeming with children eager to get dirty.‑ Unfortunately, summer also signifies the beginning of what experts call the “trauma season.”‑ Tragedies peak during the summer months because children are supervised less and engage in more outdoor activities.
The National Safe Kids Campaign reports that children ages 14 and under will be rushed to emergency rooms nearly 3 million times this summer for serious injuries resulting from motor vehicle crashes, drownings, bike crashes, pedestrian incidents, falls and other hazards. Many of these children will die as a result.
Treating these injuries costs millions of dollars and accounts for 15 percent of all medical spending for children ages 1 to 19, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.‑ In response, numerous states have enacted legislation designed to prevent childhood injuries by requiring the use of bicycle helmets by children, prohibiting the resale of unsafe cribs, and mandating playground standards to help prevent injuries.
Should Indiana enact similar legislation? Let me know what you think. Please contact me by mail at State Senator Dennis Kruse, Indiana Senate, 200 W. Washington Street, Indianapolis, IN 46204 or call 1-800-382-9467, or send e-mail to S14@in.gov.
In the meantime, parents can take measures to prevent injury during the summer by following these tips provided by the National Safe Kids Coalition:
•‑ Ride Safe-Make sure your kids are secured in the appropriate child safety seat or safety belt for their age and size.
•‑ Swim Safe-Always supervise young children near water, including pools, spas, toilets, bathtubs and buckets. Insist your children wear personal flotation devices when out on boats, near open bodies of water or when participating in water sports.
•‑ Wheel Safe-Make sure your kids wear properly fitting helmets and other protective gear every time they ride their bikes, scooters, inline skates or skateboards.
•‑ Play Safe-Always supervise your children at playgrounds or in the backyard. Make sure they play on safe surface, such as mulch, rubber or fine sand.‑‑ Make sure your kids wear the correct, properly fitted protective gear when they practice and play team sports!