Summer is a time for children to explore outdoors and have fun. KID interns Sophie Foster and Brad Groebe took a look at popular summer activities and consumer products that often accompany those activities and answers the question: how do children get hurt and how can we reduce the hazards without reducing the fun. The result is Summer Safety: Product Injury Patterns for Children.
Here’s what we found:
- According to CPSC data, injuries to children ages 14 and under are most likely to happen in the summer months.
- Playground activities, biking and swimming are the summer activities most responsible for injuries to children.
- Simple yet effective safety tips can prevent injuries. For instance, nearly 70 percent of all fatal bicycle crashes involve head injuries. Wearing a properly fitted bicycle helmet can reduce the risk of a brain and head injury by as much as 85 percent.
- Report any problems with products to SaferProducts.gov.
- Children’s product testing should include analysis that reviews how a child will interact with a product and what might be done to minimize hazards.
- Routinely check the CPSC website for recall notices. Children’s products are recalled on average of twice a week and many of them are common summer toys and items.
- If you own a product that is recalled, stop using it. Consult the CPSC website or the manufacturer for refund or repair instructions. It is illegal to resell a recalled product.
- Always provide the appropriate supervision depending on the activity and your child’s developmental stage. Be alert to what they might encounter at a friend or neighbor’s house, such as pools or trampolines and provide guidance for their use.
Last but not least, the summer is a time for fun. All activities – from biking to swimming to camping to playing sports – should be embraced and enjoyed by our children. Taking precautions and understanding hazards can allow children to enjoy summer without the risk of serious injury.