This is the final installment in our three-part series on childhood accidents. Here are five childhood emergencies that made it to our roundup of top 15 leading causes of accidents in children.
Sports- and recreation-related injuries
Almost 20 percent of all hospital emergency department visits by children are due to sports and recreation injuries. Soccer, ice hockey, baseball, football, and basketball are the frequent causes of sports accidents in children under 19 years of age. In addition, heatrelated injuries are more common in children because they tend to perspire less than adults thus their body temperature can shoot up much sooner. Engaging in intense physical activity under hot environment can lead to heat cramps or heat exhaustion in children.
Make sure children wear appropriate protective gear when playing sports. Insure that there is adequate warm-up and cool down sessions before and after engaging in sports. The child should have access to water or sports drink. If necessary, have the child use sunscreen or wear a hat to prevent sunburn. Check if the child’s coach is trained in first aid and CPR, so that he can handle emergencies.
For teens and youngsters between the ages of 15 to 24, firearm-related injuries rank third among the leading causes of death (following motor vehicle accidents and suicide). In fact, firearms kill more youth in this age bracket than drowning, falls, and cancer combined. Moreover, not less than 50 children below 18 years old are admitted to the hospital due to injuries from air guns, pellet guns, starter pistols, BB guns, and replicas. Air guns have caused major eye injuries in many teenagers.
Keep firearms in a safe, locked storage away from children’s reach. Teach children not to touch guns and report immediately to an adult if they see one.
Strangulation on power windows
It is estimated that around 500 children are injured every year due to power windows.
Many car models come with power windows. Although some models now have autoreserve function, power windows still pose risk of strangulation for children and infants.
Make sure not to leave your children unattended inside a car and always keep the windows locked. Teach your children never to play with car window controls.
This accident is more common in children under four years of age. When it occurs, it can cause serious injuries and even death. Although this is a common problem in the past, when televisions and appliances are much bulkier and heavier, parents still need to ensure that all their home appliances are anchored securely.
Use of unsafe baby walkers
In 2004, the importation and selling of baby walkers have been banned in Canada. However, there are still thousands of walkers around the country. Children in baby walkers tend to move faster than their parents could, which increases the chances of injuries. Moreover, use of walkers has been associated with falls down the stairs. The chances of serious head injuries are doubled in children using a walker as compared to a regular fall down the stairs. Do not buy or use walkers.