Sum­mer a dan­ger­ous time for kids

Matamata Chronicle - - News -

Sum­mer is an Kiwi fam­i­lies.

With the days longer and sun­nier, it of­fers an ex­cel­lent time for trips to the beach, bush and a va­ri­ety of out­door ac­tiv­i­ties. Sum­mer how­ever is also re­ferred to as trauma sea­son among med­i­cal pro­fes­sion­als due to the dra­matic in­crease in pre­ventable deaths and se­ri­ous in­juries to chil­dren.

‘‘Un­for­tu­nately sum­mer in­juries aren’t limited to skinned knees and scraped el­bows. New Zealand has some of the high­est rates of pre­ventable child in­juries within

ex­cit­ing time

for the OECD, which rises sharply dur­ing the sum­mer months,’’ said Ann Weaver, di­rec­tor of Safekids New Zealand.

This hol­i­day pe­riod pro­duced the fol­low­ing in­juries:

Burns. Kids se­ri­ously burned af­ter caus­ing fire af­ter play­ing with lighters and matches, fall­ing into hot pools and by spilt hot drinks and ket­tles.

Drown­ing. Drown­ing and near drown­ing at beaches, rivers and pools, and kids get­ting into se­ri­ous trou­ble while play­ing in ves­sels on open wa­ter.

Cy­cling. Kids fall­ing, crash­ing, loos­ing con­trol at speed down­hill, and chil­dren struck by ve­hi­cles while cy­cling.

Child Pas­sen­ger in­juries. Chil­dren in­jured and killed in car crashes, some un­re­strained. Chil­dren left in cars or left to play around cars un­su­per­vised.

Also re­ported in the me­dia were chil­dren se­ri­ously in­jured or killed af­ter be­ing run over on home drive­ways and church car parks, by lawn­mow­ers, poi­son­ing in­juries, falls, and in col­li­sions and crashes with trains, cars and mo­tor­cy­cles. Ac­cord­ing to Safekids, in­for­ma­tion and in­ter­ven­tions to pre­vent these in­juries are al­ready avail­able.

‘‘As par­ents and care­givers, we all have to do bet­ter at tak­ing re­spon­si­bil­ity and con­trol of pro­tect­ing our chil­dren, en­sur­ing they are ad­e­quately su­per­vised and safe at all times,’’ Ms Weaver said.

Safekids’ Top 5 tips this sum­mer sea­son:

Keep lighters and matches out of reach and out of sight, and be­ware of chil­dren when hold­ing a hot cup of tea, cof­fee or ket­tle.

When in un­fa­mil­iar sur­round­ings, al­ways stay within sight and reach of young ones (1-5 years). Ac­tively su­per­vise older kids (6-14 years) when they are in, on and around wa­ter.

En­cour­age kids to learn bike skills and safety and in­sist that they wear a hel­met.

Check for chil­dren be­fore driv­ing off, and teach kids not to play in drive­ways and car parks.

Kids should use a child re­straint or booster seat un­til they are 148cm tall.

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