Summer injuries that put kids in the hospital

July 26, 2010 3:27:22 PM PDT
During the warm summer months, kids are often more active and have more free time, which can lead to more injuries.

There are five top reasons children why wind up in the hospital. Many of these injuries are preventable.

For all the hours Ryan Brill spends on the playground, he knows it only takes a split second for something to go wrong. Just weeks ago, Brill fell while playing on one and ended up in the hospital with a badly broken leg.

"You just don't think about stuff like that when you let your kids go out and play on a playground. It's just something you don't think about," said Stephanie Brill, Ryan Brill's mother.

Unfortunately, it is something Dr. Kathy Nuss thinks about, especially this time of year. She and her team at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Ohio have charted injuries that cause kids to be hospitalized. She says there are some very familiar seasonal patterns.

The most common cause summer injury is falls. Things, like trampolines, can prove dangerous, but most often, as in Brill's case, injuries come from things that parents may assume are much safer.

"Kids tend to be top heavy, our younger kids fall and hit their heads a lot so we see a lot of head injuries, in the summer. Though, we see a lot of falls from playgrounds equipment," Dr. Nuss said.

At number two are bike injuries, usually from kids not wearing helmets. Also included are injuries sustained on motorized vehicles, like scooters and ATVs.

Burns are in the top five, but they are not always from fireworks. This injury differs according to age groups and may be something parents don't often think about.

"The younger kids that are climbing and pulling food off of the counter, they tend to get scald burns. Our older kids, particularly teenagers, most of their burns are sustained with direct contact from fire," said Dr. Nuss.

Vehicle accidents round out the top five reasons kids are hospitalized. While kids have little control over them, they can be made worse for children if parents don't use car seats properly.

Doctors say you may not be able to avoid the top five causes for injuries entirely, but keeping a close eye on your kids this summer is the one thing that is sure to help.