You coddle them as babies. As they journey through childhood, you try to teach them to be independent, safe and strong. Hopefully, all of this yields teens who are confident in your support, and can mostly use the common sense you instilled to stay safe.
But, as children grow, they tend to stumble and fall from time to time. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, kids’ injuries become more serious with age. Whether from playing outside with friends or water skiing on a family vacation, big kids get big injuries.
Data from the 2015-2017 National Health Interview Survey gives a snapshot. At the time of the survey, 48 out of every 1,000 children ages 1 to 4 had an injury requiring professional medical advice or treatment in the past five weeks. Among kids ages 11 to 17, that number was more than double, at 117.
No further information was published about the kinds of injuries these were, nor on the outcomes. But, the CDC report highlights some important areas to focus on for child, and big kid, safety. These include prevention of burns, drownings, falls and injuries from road traffic, sports and playgrounds.
A few key tips stand out. First, supervision is important. Fences are a must to keep young children away from swimming pools. Sports equipment should be regularly checked to be sure it’s in good condition. Rest, appropriate clothing and hydration can prevent heat stroke and injuries.
We can’t fully protect our offspring from every danger, but simple precautions can help. Take heart, mom and dad. One day, they’ll be 18 and you’ll no longer be responsible for their own well-being. Not that you’ll stop worrying, of course.