HERSHEY, Pa. — As Pennsylvania reopens in time for summer, health experts are expecting a surge in summer-related injuries in children.
Amy Bollinger, registered nurse and head of trauma at Penn State Children's Hospital in Derry Township, Dauphin County, said the hospital has already seen a jump in visits.
The summer is the busiest time of the year for pediatric trauma, Bollinger said. As days get longer, kids tend to spend more time outside with their friends, and as more and more families, including children, get vaccinated, kids are more likely to spend more time this summer with friends.
Parents need to be on the lookout to avoid these common summer injuries:
- Bicycle - Whether kids aren't wearing a helmet or riding their bikes on high volume roads, Bollinger said bike injuries are among the most common during the summer months. "They've got to wear a helmet," she said. "Brain injuries have lifelong implications."
- Pedestrian - As more children play outside, more balls find their way rolling onto the street, and into the path of oncoming traffic. "Don't go chasing that ball. We'll go get it!" Bollinger said.
- Teen driving - Summer is the most dangerous time for teens to be out on the roads, Bollinger says. "Put the phone down. Wear your seatbelt. You shouldn't have a car full of four or five teens. We know teens in large groups don't necessarily make the best decisions."
Bollinger also warned parents of sending a child out into the backyard without supervision.
"We're cooped up too," she said. "We're ready to get our kids out from under foot, I get it. But you can't send your kid out on a swingset or trampoline or treehouse without knowing what they're doing. They want to explore. They're not thinking of the consequences of their actions."