Spectrum Health Shares Summer Safety Tips

May 18, 2017

Tips for a safe summer

Every summer, approximately 2.7 million children in the US ages 14 and under are treated in emergency rooms for accidental injuries. Injury prevention experts at Spectrum Health in Grand Rapids say more children are accidentally injured during the summer months than any other time of year.

“Our kids are ready to explore, they’ve been stuck in school all season and now they’re reading to get outside and have a good time, and we don’t want to discourage that. But with more activity comes more risk of injury.”

Jennifer Hoekstra is the Injury Prevention Program Coordinator at Helen Devos Children’s Hospital. She says parents need to start now looking at ways they can help their kids avoid injury as it’s getting warmer.  National statistics show approximately 2.7 million children in the U.S. ages 14 and under are treated in emergency rooms for accidental injuries every summer.  Hoekstra offers help in kicking off the summer season. Help that would eliminate or prevent injuries.

“It’s important to really look at the water temperature. And make sure it’s above that 70 degree mark before your spend a lot of time in the cold water.  It’s not great for our children’s bodies to be exposed to extreme cold. So really take a look at the temperatures before you go swimming in the big lakes for the summer season.”

Hoekstra also advises keeping an eye out for heat stroke… she says know the signs.  Lethargic movement, any indicators that it’s time to take a break.  Plus,  

“Our kids want to be running and running, and they may want to grab a pop or some juice, but water is the best thing for them to drink. It can really keep their bodies hydrated which keeps them going and can reduce the risk of injury. “

Hoekstra adds another simple, but important reminder: 

“Never leave kids alone in a car. Last year we had 38 children die in the U.S. because they were left alone in a hot vehicle.  Within ten minutes, the temperature increases by 20 degrees in the vehicle. Also, don’t let your kids walk distracted. Make sure they put down devices to cross the street.”

And If you need more info about summer safety, you can go to their website at Helen Devos childrens.org and search injury prevention safety tips.