July 9, 2009

ER doctor names top six kid summer dangers

At least one doctor says he would like all-terrain vehicles and trampolines banned in the United States.

Besides ATVs and trampolines, the most common sources of summertime danger for children are wheeled toys such as bikes, inline skates and skateboards; drownings; car accidents; and heat and dehydration.

Kids are going to be kids and they are going to get hurt, Dr. Tony Scalzo of Saint Louis University Medical Center said in a statement. But many of these accidents could be prevented by proper parental supervision.

Scalzo says he would prefer kids were kept off ATVs -- especially without helmets. Some trampoline accidents, he says, can be prevented with protective netting.

He also recommends:

-- Children using bikes, in-line skates and skateboards should wear protective gear, especially properly-fitting helmets, and bike brakes, tires, reflectors and light should work properly.

-- For a young child, even relatively small amounts of water -- such as in a large cooler -- can be a hazard. Children near water should wear life jackets and never be left unattended.

-- Children should not be allowed out of appropriate booster or car seats during trips. Stop frequently to let them burn off energy.

-- Children should be kept well hydrated, but parents should avoid giving infants water because it dilutes the salt in their blood and can lead to respiratory problems and seizures -- offer an extra bottle instead.