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Pediatric injury prevention tips

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Accidental injury is the number one killer of children in the U.S. Using the right safety gear will lower the risk of injury.

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Riding a bike. Running down the street. Playing in a soccer match. At some point in their lives, all children will visit an Emergency Department or a pediatric specialist.

Injury facts

According to the Journal of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, four activities log 1.5 million injuries annually among children ages 5 to 14:

  • bicycle riding
  • football
  • roller sports
  • basketball

Pediatric emergency care physicians treat a growing number of children who have been injured on home trampolines. In fact, bouncing injuries are so common that the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends families not even purchase a home trampoline.

Accident causes

Physicians and exercise specialists say injuries in children are most often caused by:

  • lack of knowledge about the activity
  • lack of physical conditioning
  • improper form
  • not paying attention
  • not following the rules
  • not using adequate safety gear
  • unsafe conditions or environment
  • lack of adult supervision
  • showing off

Using the right safety equipment and learning how to play each sport correctly will lower the risk of injuries or premature wear and tear on joints. When in doubt, take your child to a pediatrician for a complete physical exam before starting a new activity. Remember, kids develop healthy lifestyles and attitudes when they have fun with sports and other activities, so get them on the right road to fitness. Make sure they play it safe — and don’t forget to pack the bandages, too!

Helpful injury prevention tips

  • Get an annual medical exam before starting seasonal sports.
  • Reinforce wearing all appropriate safety equipment in the right size and check it frequently for wear and tear.
  • Know who is coaching your child and ensure proper technique is taught to minimize any medical problems that may arise.
  • Start practicing now. Good physical conditioning focuses on muscle strength, flexibility and cardiovascular training.
  • Supervise young children in sports activities because they often lack the maturity and skills necessary to avoid accidents.
  • Remind children regularly about safety practices in all activities or sports.
  • Make sure children stay properly hydrated, eat nutritious foods and take frequent rest breaks.
  • Talk to your child about any aches or pains associated with activities, and seek medical care when you are concerned.

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