Summer brings with it hot days and plenty of time on your child's hands. Prevent injuries by helping them select toys/games/projects that will keep them safe and be able to enjoy their days out of school.

Although most parents know to keep a watchful eye on their kids when they go swimming in public and private pools each summer, they’re often unaware of the many other ways children suffer serious injuries and even death while playing. For this reason, we’ve put together a short list of some common summer items that kids often misuse that can cause serious harm. They include Pogo sticks, scooters, hammocks, inflatable pools – and most tricycles and bicycles.

Toys & Other Household Items That May Pose Serious Safety Risks to Your Kids

According to an online 2014 Marketwatch article, children are frequently rushed to hospital emergency rooms each summer while playing in backyard hammocks, using inflatable pools, riding tricycles, bicycles and scooters -- and while playing on Pogo sticks.

  • Hammocks. Although they may look simple enough for even a child to enjoy, kids don’t always know how to maintain their balance while sitting in hammocks.  Furthermore, they can suffer serious harm if playing in string hammocks “without a spreader bar to keep the hammocks open.”  In fact, kids can even “become tangled and strangle themselves” while playing in these hammocks. Even if you decide to forbid your children from playing in your hammock, you should always install very soft padding right beneath it so that if someone falls out of it, he’ll hit a soft surface;

  • Inflatable pools. Although most of us played in these at some point during our early childhoods and survived the experience, these types of pools are still thought to be rather dangerous. Experts warn parents that they must always empty these pools of all water when they’re not in use. Otherwise, small infants and toddlers can crawl into them and drown, even in very shallow water. According to the U. S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, between 2001 and 2009, “there were 209 deaths and 35 ‘near deaths’” involving inflatable pools and kids under the age of twelve;

  • Tricycles and Bicycles. Although these may seem fairly safe, “every two minutes, a child is treated in an emergency room for a bicycling incident -- and more children ages 5 to 14 are seen in ERs for bike-related injuries” than all other sporting activities. Parents must always make sure their children where helmets while riding on any of these cycles;

  • Scooters. Many grade school students and younger kids love riding around on scooters. However, both the foot-propelled and electric kind “send nearly 70,000 kids to the emergency room for injuries each year.”  Experts say that parents are often surprised to learn that the simple, “foot-propelled” types of scooters “are responsible for the bulk of [these many] injuries.” Always remind your kids that they must never ride a scooter unless they’re wearing properly-fitting safety helmets;

  • Pogo sticks. Although many modern kids have little interest in these old-fashioned toys, they still enjoy using them on occasion. Unfortunately, falls are quite common when kids lose their balance on Pogo sticks. For this reason, parents must make sure their kids always wear helmets – and possibly wear various types of knee and elbow pads.

Tom Hall
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Board Certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization in Personal Injury Trial Law
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