Tag Archives: safety

Summer Safety: Helping Kids Avoid Broken Bones and Hurt Heads

brokenSchool is out, the weather is warm, and outdoor activities are in full swing. Summertime is a fun time for most children, but it’s also a season when New York-area hospitals see a spike in the number of kids who suffer fractures or concussions.

A fracture, which is a partial or complete break in a bone, can occur anywhere on the body. The most common sites are the wrist, elbow, and collarbone, as well as the ankle and femur (thighbone). A concussion is a type of brain injury that occurs from a blow to the head or body.

Any activity children participate in can lead to injuries: playing outside, swinging, climbing the monkey bars, jumping on trampolines, playing in bouncy castles. Falls and fractures are common in activities involving speed, like skateboarding, bicycling, or riding a scooter. Fireworks and climbing trees are a common cause of many summer injuries, too. At Hassenfeld Children’s Hospital at NYU Langone, we see many of these injuries every summer, in addition to injuries that might not be as obvious to parents. Oftentimes, youth who engage in activities such as contact sports or bicycling, or those who simply have a collision or fall when playing, might sustain a concussion, and may need to be seen by a specialist at our Concussion Center.

Of course, it’s impractical for children to avoid all of these activities. Kids will be kids, and outdoor recreation is beneficial to children’s physical, mental, and emotional health. That’s why it is important to take reasonable precautions to increase their safety as they enjoy their summer:

Wear proper protective equipment.
Helmets should always be worn for activities like bike riding and skateboarding, as well as for contact sports like football. When skateboarding, kids should be wearing elbow and kneepads, too.

Pay attention to playground surfaces. Rather than concrete, asphalt, or hard packed dirt, they should be made out of softer surfaces like shredded rubber or wood chips. These can better absorb the impact of a fall and are less likely to cause injuries.

Build strength and endurance. Being in proper physical condition is important for preventing injuries when participating in sports. Receiving appropriate instruction from athletic trainers is always recommended.

Always supervise kids around fireworks to prevent explosion injuries, which are common in the hands.

You can take steps to lessen the chances of broken bones and concussions, but you can’t avoid the risk altogether. Serious injuries may still occur as kids participate in typical summer activities. If your child has suffered a head injury or if an injury has caused pain out of proportion to a regular knock or “boo boo”:

• Immobilize the child.
• Do not move an affected limb or joint.
• Put ice on swollen areas.
• Call your doctor’s office for advice or go to the emergency room for evaluation by a physician.

Sometimes, children require specialist evaluation and treatment because their bones are still growing. For example, if the wrist looks obviously deformed, you can assume that would require a pediatric orthopedic surgeon. If you’re in doubt about the seriousness of an injury, there is no harm in coming to the ER to make sure everything is okay. Emergency room doctors are very good at distinguishing what needs to be seen by a specialist and what doesn’t.

Here’s to a happy, healthy and safe summer!

NYULMC-2011_2CP_RGB_300dpiFrom the Real Experts at NYU Langone Medical Center:

Pablo Castañeda, MD, is the Division Chief of Pediatric Orthopaedic Surgery at Hassenfeld Children’s Hospital at NYU Langone.

 

NYU Langone Medical Center Wishes You a Happy & Healthy Thanksgiving

Nurse (unknown) playing games with Logan Grostas (consent with Carin) in hospital bed

The holidays are a wonderful time to relax, eat delicious food, and enjoy the company of family and friends, but the season can also bring additional stresses and safety hazards for your child. While we hope you have a safe and stress-free Thanksgiving and holiday season, we’d like to remind you about the resources that are available in the New York City area if you need them.

• Our family-focused KiDS Emergency Department, which is part of the Ronald O. Perelman Center for Emergency Services in New York City, is available for sudden illness or injury, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Along with a dedicated team of pediatric emergency medicine specialists, the KiDS Emergency Department offers a family-friendly waiting area with age-appropriate toys and activities for children, as well as child life specialists on hand to prepare and distract your child during treatment. The KiDS Emergency Department is located at 570 First Avenue in New York, New York.

• In addition, if you live in Brooklyn and the surrounding areas, the NYU Langone Cobble Hill Emergency Department, which also serves Sunset Park, is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week for walk-in visits and ambulances. A team of board certified doctors, nurses, and support staff specializes in emergency medicine and can assist adults and children with urgent healthcare needs. NYU Langone-Cobble Hill is located at 83 Amity Street in Brooklyn, New York.

• NYU Langone’s Child Study Center offers a wide range of mental health services for children, adolescents, young adults, and families. Our experts can work with your family on a range of conditions such as learning disorders, mood disorders, anxiety, autism spectrum disorder, and more. Click here for more information.

• The Pediatric Gastroenterology Program can help your child with a range of gastrointestinal diseases, including celiac disease and other gluten-related disorders. Since dietary restrictions can be especially difficult during the holidays, their licensed social workers are available to provide supportive counseling to aid you in adjusting to your child’s diagnosis and offer strategies for dealing with social events where food is a factor.

• NYU Langone’s Pediatric GUARD (Gastroesophageal, Upper Airway, and Respiratory Diseases) Center provides a team approach to care for your child with issues that affect breathing, speaking, or swallowing. They’ll collaborate to decide the best treatment plan for conditions such as breathing noises, chronic cough, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), and recurrent croup, among others.

Please dial 911 if your child is experiencing an emergency.

You can check out more services provided through NYU Langone’s Hassenfeld Children’s Hospital by visiting our website, or calling 855-698-5437.

We wish you and your family a happy holiday season!