Summer means swimming, biking — and, sometimes, injuries for children

James Dyer, 7, goes down the giant water slide at the Santa Clarita Aquatic Center in Valencia, Calif., on Saturday, June 11, 2022. Dozens of families visited the aquatic center to cool off during the weekend heatwave. Chris Torres/The Signal

Injuries are inevitable for children. With school out and more of their time readily available, more free time presents more opportunities for injuries.  

Dr. Cory Spurlock, chief medical officer of Exer Urgent Care, estimates there is a 60 to 70% increase in injuries of children during the summertime.  

“Obviously summertime means that more time is spent outside and therefore we obviously typically see an increase in injuries and illnesses during the summer months,” said Dr. Darrin Privett, emergency medicine physician at Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital.  

Both Spurlock and Privett say the majority of injuries with children during the summertime are lacerations, scrapes, orthopedic-related injuries (twisted ankles, broken bones, etc.) and heat-related injuries (heat exhaustion, dehydration, sunburn, etc.).  

There are many ways to prevent these injuries, the medical professionals say, and they offer the following pieces of advice: 

Kids should always wear helmets, knee and elbow pads when riding bikes, scooters and skateboards. If your child is struggling with riding, consider enrolling them in lessons so they have the proper knowledge to avoid injury. Parents and supervisors should be attentive when watching children.  

Various forms of exercise are great for children. As the months get hotter, it becomes easier for children to over-exert themselves. They can easily get dehydrated, sunburned and suffer from heat exhaustion. Ensure that children take regular breaks and restrict the amount of time they spend playing one sport a week. Taking breaks is great for resting certain muscle groups. Also, make sure children are applying sunscreen with SPF 30 regularly. 

Swimming is by far one of the most popular summer activities. Before a child enters the water, ensure that they have had the proper resources — such as swimming lessons and life jackets. Without proper preparation, drowning and water-related injuries can occur.  

By educating yourself, as a parent or supervisor, and giving your children the proper resources, common summertime injuries can be avoided. 

“I think preventative medicine is the best type of medicine,” said Privett.  

Common injuries are inevitable, but being aware of the ways they can be prevented can help prevent them from being far worse. 

“I think injury is going to happen, but what we want to do is prevent the catastrophic and the serious injuries,” said Spurlock.  

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