ANDERSON — School’s out, the days are longer and the weather is warmer. It’s a perfect time for the children to head outside and play.
But along with the fun comes the potential for more injury.
As Indiana’s only level 1 pediatric trauma center, Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis views the summer as trauma season. Of the 1,200 cases they see per year, about 45 percent occur between the beginning of May until the end of August.
”We certainly know summer time tends to be very busy with trauma,” said Dr. Robert Collins, director of emergency services at Riley. “It’s driven by more daylight hours, more activity.”
And hospitals in Madison County begin to see an increase in children with injuries, too.
Joni Brinkman, director of Community Hospital’s emergency room department, said they see injuries ranging from falls off playground equipment to car accidents as doctors treat kids with cuts, sprains and fractures resulting from falls, bike and ATV accidents and sport injuries, among others.
While accidents like a kid falling off the monkey bars will happen, Collins said, he and Brinkman, along with some parents, agree that many of these incidents are preventable.
”Parents really need to be aware of what children are doing,” Brinkman added.
Charles and Heather Borton, of Anderson, have three kids ranging from age 4 to 7 to watch out for.
Heather said they’ve taught them lessons like looking both ways before crossing the street, not talking to strangers and the importance of sunblock. Charles added that they keep the kids hydrated during hot temperatures and don’t let them play outside alone.
But there are still concerns about drivers not paying enough attention to their surroundings as the family likes to ride bikes over to Shadyside Park in the summer.
And Heather tells the kids “don’t go further than I can see you.”