We know parents are eager to keep kids active in the summer months and always on the lookout for activities to help burn off some of their never-ending energy. But a trip to the neighborhood playground or an afternoon spent at the trampoline park can unfortunately lead to injuries – and a trip to the emergency room. According to the CDC, emergency departments see more than 220,000 children ages 14 and younger for playground-related injuries each year.
Some of the more common culprits of summer injuries our adult and pediatric orthopedic specialists see are:
- Bicycles, scooters or hoverboards
Most of the injuries we see are the result of a fall. It’s a natural reaction for kids to brace themselves with an outstretched hand when falling off the monkey bars or a bike. This can easily lead to a wrist fracture or broken elbow.
To help prevent injuries, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons recommends the following safety tips:
- Never go down a slide with a baby or toddler in your lap.
- Be on the lookout for hazards at playgrounds, such as tree stumps, rocks, or broken equipment.
- Steer clear of over-crowded equipment (slides, trampolines, etc)
- Avoid playgrounds that have concrete, asphalt, or gravel surfaces. Instead opt for soft surfaces like rubber or wood chips.
- Always wear protective equipment when riding a bike, scooter or hoverboard.
- Use trampoline safety nets and pads at home.
- Gradually return to sports activities to avoid a deconditioning injury
- Cross-train in multiple sports to avoid overuse injuries
Central Texas is known for record-breaking heat in the summer. Always remember to apply sunscreen, stay hydrated and limit time in the heat when enjoying outdoor activities.
When to see a doctor for an injury
We recommend seeking medical attention if your child is unable to bear weight or use full range of motion, experiencing pain, swelling or tenderness that does not go away with rest or has an obvious deformity.
Orthopedic injuries can keep your child from enjoying their favorite summertime activities. Our orthopedic and sports medicine specialists are available to see them quickly at one of our seven Austin area locations to help determine the best course of treatment for their injury.