The Pain Trajectory
Starting an Exercise Program
Here are a few examples of activities that pose a potential danger for children, and suggested precautions for preventing them.
Did you know that approximately 200,000 injuries that are treated in the emergency room for children 14 years of age and younger are the result of playground accidents? 45 percent of these injuries are considered severe and include fractures, concussions, dislocations and internal injuries.
How to prevent playground injuries:
- Ensure supervision by parents and/or trained playground staff
- Check that there is regular maintenance of playground equipment, and surface-safe materials under the equipment
- Educate children who play around swings and other equipment
- Use only equipment that is appropriate for age and physical development
Car crashes are the leading cause of death among children between 2 and 16 years of age. In 2003, nearly 2,000 kids died in car accidents, and more than a quarter of a million were injured. Check your state laws for more information.
How to prevent car injuries and fatalities:
- Use an age/weight appropriate child safety seat (infant seat or booster seat)
- Fasten an emergency information card to child safety seats
- Make sure all passengers are wearing seat belts
- Put children in the back seat to avoid air bag injuries in the front seat
- Instruct teenage drivers to limit the number of passengers in their cars
Did you know that drowning is the second leading cause of injury-related deaths for children 1 to 14 years of age? According to data collected in 2003, there were 3,306 unintentional fatal drownings in the U.S. — an average of nine per day.
Drownings of children under one year of age most often occur in the bathtub or a bucket. Drownings of children one to four years of age on average occur in residential pools, usually out of the sight of parents who are less than five minutes away.
How to prevent bathtub and bucket drownings:
- Never leave an infant or toddler alone without supervision
- Keep buckets empty and out of reach
How to prevent pool and lake drownings:
- Supervise children constantly when they are in and around water
- Never let children swim alone
- Learn to swim no matter what your age
- Only swim in lakes that are supervised
- Listen to the lifeguards and follow the rules
Did you know that 40 percent of fireworks injuries happen to children 14 years of age and younger? 33 percent of fireworks injuries are hand injuries, 21 percent are eye injuries, and 21 percent are head, face and ear injuries. Sparklers account for 17 percent of fireworks injuries. Firecrackers account for an additional 17 percent of injuries.
Fireworks are not safe at any age and should be left to professionals.
Bicycles, Rollerblading and Other Sports
Children should always take precautions when participating in recreational activities such as bicycling, rollerblading and skateboarding.
How to prevent bicycling, rollerblading and other sport injuries:
- Wear a helmet and other protective safety gear
- Install reflectors on bicycles
- Obey all traffic rules, use turn signals, and stay on the right side of the road
- Wear light-colored clothing
- Look both ways before crossing the street
- Avoid playing in streets
- Watch and look both ways before retrieving an object from the street
These suggestions may sound like common sense to most of us, but it is important to remember that we weren’t born with these skills. For the most part, we learned them as children. Therefore, it is important that we reinforce these rules with our own children. As the saying goes, “It’s all fun and games until someone gets hurt.” If we put safety first, we can have fun and avoid the hurts.