As children transition from virtual learning to summer routines, it is important for parents and guardians to be aware that with more free time comes an increase in unintentional injuries. While seasonal injury risks associated with summer occur annually, experts have noted a spike in these events this year, due to families social distancing at home. Nicklaus Children’s Hospital advises caregivers to be aware of the leading causes of non-intentional injuries and the safety practices that can help prevent them.
“The challenge during COVID-19 has been that many parents are working from home and are unable to watch the children the entire time,” said Malvina Duncan, Injury Prevention Coordinator at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital and Safe Kids Coordinator for Miami-Dade. “Tragically, Florida has seen a 37.5 percent increase in drowning fatalities compared to this time last year. By promoting awareness among parents and guardians, we hope to combat this heartbreaking trend.”
Equally important to consider is that grandparents, family members and friends who help watch children this summer may not be aware of dangers in their own homes.
Top summer safety tips:
- Children should always be actively supervised when in or around bodies of water. Use barriers such as a pool fence, and lock doors that lead to any body of water.
- Parents and other guardians need to remember that drowning is a silent event. Only close observation of children in the water by responsible adults can prevent drownings.
- While in the yard or out for a stroll; remember to play safely; use age-appropriate toys and safety equipment such as helmets when using bikes, scooters, skates, etc.
- Keep small items and toys, as well as cords, away from small children to prevent choking and strangulation.
- Store household cleaning products and medication out of reach and use only as directed by manufacturer or as prescribed by medical provider.
For more health and safety tip information, please visit Nicklauschildrens.org/safety