CONCORD– As kids across New Hampshire start to celebrate the end of school, public health and safety advocates noted the summer months can also be dangerous.
“We have already seen the tragic consequences of summertime injuries in our state with drowning and motor vehicle deaths rising,” said Elaine Frank, spokeswoman for the Children’s Hospital at Dartmouth (CHaD) and Safe KidsNH.
According to The Safe Kids U.S. Summer Ranking Report from Safe Kids Worldwide,the latest statistics show that more than 2,000 children die in the U.S. duringthe summer months – that’s 17 kids every day. The same statistics show that there were 2.4 million emergency room visits by children during the summer months.
“Accidental injuries are the leading killer of kids age 14 and under year round, but they spike so dramatically each summer that emergency room doctors have nicknamed the summer ‘trauma season,’” Frank said.
Kids have a much greater risk of dying in a biking accident or a fall, as a motor vehicle passenger or a pedestrian, or by drowning during the summer than an entire year. In fact, 41 percent of all children’s accidental deaths take place in the summer.
Next month, the New Hampshire Public Health Association will team up with Safe KidsNH and Plus Time NH to distribute safety kits and bicycle helmets to kids in summer programs across the state.
Many ways to save children’s lives during the summer are not difficult or expensive. Consider these few simple steps that can make the difference between having a fun summer day and making a trip to the emergency room:
· A properly-fitted helmet can reduce the risk of a brain injury from a bike fall by as much as 88 percent.
· Using a four-sided fence around a backyard pool prevents up to 90 percent of child drowning.
· Correctly-installed car seats reduce 71 percent of infant deaths and more than half of those of toddlers ages 1 to 4.
· Putting guards on all windows above the first floor can save toddlers from falling to the ground and suffering serious injuries.
SafeKids NH is kicking off the summer with its Safe Kids 500 at the NH International Speedway in Loudon on Wednesday, June 20th, rain or shine. From 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., kids and their parents can ride their bikes around the NASCAR track as long as they have a helmet. This free event includes healthy snacks, bike tune-ups, helmet fittings and lots of information for making it a safe summer. For more information or to let us know you plan to come call Safe Kids at 1-877-783-0432.
The New Hampshire Public Health Association is a nonpartisan, not-for-profit organization founded in 1992 with the mission to strengthen the public health system to more effectively protect and improve the health and safety of our population. For more information about the NewHampshire Public Health Association, please go to www.nhpha.org.
SafeKids NH is dedicated to preventing unintentional injuries to children in NH through partnerships employing education, environmental change, effective interventions and advocacy. The Children’s Hospital at Dartmouth (CHaD) is proud to be our lead agency. For more information, please go to www.usa.safekids.org
PlusTime NH is a non profit organizationwho provides the guidance, leadership, and support essential to create, improve, and sustain afterschool programs in New Hampshire communities. For more information, please go to http://www.plustime.org.