Injuries among children increase during summer months, doctors say

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SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Doctors say summer is the time of year when injuries or death by accident in children dramatically increase.

Primary Children's Hospital and health advocates are trying to raise awareness about the risks children face in the summertime and how parents can better protect their kids.

“Window falls and pedestrian safety, anything that you know commonly occurs during the year, but predominantly during the summer, we want to put all of our effort into making sure kids are safe,” said Janet Brooks, a health advocate at Primary Children’s Hospital.

Four-year-old Liam Franc fell out of a window last week and fell 10 feet to the ground, hitting his head on the concrete below.

“I noticed he had a big bump on the side of his head right here, so I decided it would be smart to get him to a hospital,” said his mother, Traci Franc.

While Liam is doing OK now, other kids have not been so lucky. Franc talked about what the incident taught her.

“Use your window locks,” she said. “Most windows come with the little things to screw into your window to only allow it to open so much, and some people think it’s inconvenient, but, I learned the hard way that it’s better for your kids.”

Doctors say summer is the time of year when kids get in the most accidents - including getting hit by cars, drowning or sustaining head injuries.

“All parents should keep their kids safe by supervising them,” said Trauma Doctor Charles Pruitt at Primary Children’s Hospital. “Really the best medicine is prevention and the best type of prevention is supervision.”

Brooks said her department is promoting several campaigns this summer to raise awareness about how parents can keep their kids safer.

“Walking around the vehicle with ‘Spot the Tot,’ making sure the kids are out of the way of moving vehicles,” Brooks said. “We have a campaign that we’re working diligently on right now – ‘Safe Trails Serious Fun’ – which has more swag, an ATV helmet or a neck brace after a horrible, horrific injury?”

Brooks said parents can call Primary Children's Hospital anytime with questions on how to keep their kids safe. They also have tips on their website at http://intermountainhealthcare.org/hospitals/primarychildrens/childhealth/parenting/Pages/home.aspx.

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