While this summer may be a little different than normal, there’s a good chance your children can still get outside and stay active while still keeping their risk of catching the coronavirus on the low end. And while COVID-19 may be making all the headlines, another threat to our children’s health tends to emerge during the summer, and that is the threat of head injuries and concussions. In today’s blog, we take a closer look at five common causes of pediatric head injuries during the summer, and we share some prevention tips.
This is far from a full list of all the ways a child can suffer a head injury during the summer, but these are some of the more seasonal threats that tend to increase as the weather gets warm.
1. Playgrounds – We discussed playground injuries on the past in this blog, but we wanted to touch on them again because they are so prevalent during the summer. Kids are off from school, and parents and sitters are looking to find ways to have kids burn off some extra energy, and a public park can do just that. But missing a step, falling off a cargo ladder or slipping off the monkey bars can all result in head injuries and concussions. They aren’t always fully preventable, but make sure your child plays on equipment appropriate for their age, and stay close when they are up high.
2. Summer Camp – Summer camp can be a great way for your child to have some fun with kids their age and give parents a little vacation of their own, but it’s also a common site for head injuries. Activities like swimming, climbing, a ropes course, hiking or jumping off a dock can all lead to concussions. Staff and parents should be aware of activity risk and provide appropriate training, safety gear and injury response education.
3. Cycling, Skating, and Anything On Wheel – Snow and ice cover the pavement for a portion of the year, which means many kids and adults use the summer months to enjoy activities like biking, rollerblading, skateboarding, scootering or just cruising around on two or four wheels. However, if they hit a bump in the pavement or lose their balance, they can come crashing down onto a hard surface. Make sure your kids wear a helmet when they are on wheels, and keep them away from high traffic areas if possible.
4. Sports – Sports are a common cause of head injuries all year round, but concussions tend to spike during the summer especially at the younger levels. Kids between the ages of 5 and 10 are typically more involved in activities like soccer, football and baseball during the summer, and because they aren’t as coordinated or in control of their body as teens and adults, it doesn’t take much for heads to collide. Have them wear the right safety gear and have concussion identification protocols in place if a head injury is suspected.
5. Car Accidents – Again, car accidents occur at all times of the year, but summer usually allows us to drive at faster speeds, which can make crashes more catastrophic. Make sure that all occupants wear their seat belt at all times in the car, and put your cell phone and other distractions away so you get to your destination as planned.
If your child suffers a minor or more serious head injury, have them evaluated by a neurospecialist to ensure their head can heal as expected. For more information, reach out to Dr. Chang’s office today.