Preventing summertime injuries among children

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Summertime is in full effect, and with many kids taking their fun outdoors throughout this season, it is important for parents to take proper precautions to ensure their children’s safety.

Unfortunately, the news has been flooded with tragic stories caused by heat-related illnesses this year.

This is why it is important for parents to be aware of the signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion or heat stroke in their children, so they can take action before the condition becomes serious or life-threatening.

These signs include extreme fatigue, rapid heart rate, excessive sweating, nausea, and in more severe cases, seizures, delirium and hallucinations. Fortunately, heat exhaustion and heatstroke are preventable illnesses that can be avoided by taking the following precautions:

- Making sure your children drink plenty of fluids to maintain hydration.
- Restricting their outdoor activity and/or exercise during the “heat of the day.”
- Dressing them in appropriate clothing for outdoor activity (i.e. moisture-wicking clothing).
- Finding an area for them to cool off quickly, such as an air-conditioned car or the shade.
- Never leaving a child in the car unattended. Not even for a minute.

Drownings are another type of tragic incident we begin to hear more about in the news this time of year, as families spend more time around pools, lakes and oceans.

Drowning is actually one of the leading causes of death in children in the United States. While swim lessons are definitely encouraged for all children to help ensure water safety; just because a child can swim, does not mean they should ever be left alone near a body of water.

Parents should always designate a “water watcher,” who must stay in close proximity to the children and keep an eye on them at all times as they play in the water.

In any incidence of a drowning or severe heat-related illness, parents should call 911 immediately and let local EMS get their children to the correct emergency facility.

Cone Health Pediatric Emergency Department is located at Moses Cone Hospital, with an exceptional team of pediatric emergency medicine specialists and related healthcare professionals dedicated to providing the best care possible for children throughout the community.

Spokesperson Background:
Dr. Ross Kuhner is the medical director and board-certified pediatric emergency medicine specialist at Cone Health’s Pediatric Emergency Department located at Moses Cone Hospital.

Dr. Kuhner is a 2003 graduate of the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine.

He completed his residency in pediatrics at University of North Carolina Hospitals and completed a fellowship in pediatric emergency medicine at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio.