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Making Summer Safer-Branded Content

Summer brings sunny days and more time spent outdoors, but with that extra playtime comes a higher risk for injury

June 2014

Playground injuries send more than 200,000 children age 14 and younger to U.S. emergency rooms every year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Mishaps run the gamut from bruises, sprains and slight cuts to concussions, dislocations and fractures; severe injuries, such as the latter three, account for approximately 45 percent of playground injuries, CDC data shows.

One of the leading causes of fractures in young children is the monkey bars. "Most people don't realize how dangerous monkey bars really are," says Kosmas Kayes, M.D., a pediatric orthopedic surgeon at Peyton Manning Children's Hospital at St.Vincent. "But we've treated many broken wrists, elbows and forearms that have resulted from accidents on the monkey bars."

Whether your kids are playing on a playground or in your own backyard, always follow the first rule of safety: Make sure you or another adult is supervising the child. "A lot of injuries can be prevented – or at least minimized – with proper adult supervision," Dr. Kayes says.

You can't prevent every tumble, but you can ensure your little ones land on a safe surface when they slip. Nearly 80 percent of playground equipment-associated injuries are falls, mostly from an apparatus to the ground, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgery. Only allow your children to climb and clamber where wood chips, sand or rubber safety mats cover the ground.

Once you determine the playing surface is acceptable, follow these tips to help your children enjoy a safe and fun playground experience:

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Tags: Health, In This Issue

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