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4 Things Emergency Room Physicians Wish You Knew


From Florida Hospital - Apopka

Nearly 9 million children in the United States are treated for injuries in emergency departments every year, and they’re often injuries that can affect them for a lifetime, says Safe Kids Worldwide.

Mitch Maulfair, DO, and Jesse Caron, MD, emergency medicine physicians at Florida Hospital, discuss four common items, in and around your house, injuries they see in the ER, and how you can protect those you love.

1. Swimming Pools: A swimming pool may be the most attractive hazard imaginable to a child and there is no shortage of them in Florida. Sadly, drowning is the second leading cause of injury-related deaths in children in the US.

“Even children who can swim are at risk of drowning, which is why you should never leave your kids without adult supervision. Dangerous situations occur when it isn't clear who is watching the kids and swim lessons don't substitute for supervision,” says Mitch Maulfair, DO.

“One of the biggest misconceptions is that someone who is drowning will splash and scream for help, but that’s not how drowning works. A child in distress will just silently slip under the water. All parents, and anyone with a pool should know CPR, and pools should be enclosed with tall fences with self-closing and -latching gates. Also be aware that small children can drown in an inch of water, so even toilets, bathtubs and buckets can be drowning risks.”

2. Trampolines: Kids love trampolines, but trampoline-related injuries are responsible for as many as 92,000 emergency-room visits annually and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends against their use at home, in gym classes and on playgrounds.

“The most common trampoline injuries are arm and leg fractures, spinal and head injuries,” says Jesse Caron, MD. “These most often occur because too many kids jumping on the trampoline at any given time and they crash into or land on each other. Putting a net on the trampoline doesn’t make it any safer and may actually lull parents into a false sense of security. There really isn’t any good trampoline and I recommend keeping your kids away from them.”

3. Bikes, scooters, skateboards, etc.: We all want our kids to be active as opposed to being tethered to their electronics, but when children are outside on bikes, scooters, skateboards and rip sticks without helmets, the results can be tragic.

“In the ER, we frequently see children who fall off bikes or skateboards and receive head injuries because they weren’t wearing a helmet,” says Caron. “As soon as kids are old enough to ride a bike or scooter, they need to wear helmets and parents need to enforce that rule.

And parents should remember Florida law requires anyone under 16 who is riding a bike to wear a helmet. A traumatic brain injury can be life-changing, as well as life-threatening. There’s just no excuse: wear a helmet.”

4. Automobiles: Teens have an 89.2 percent chance of being involved in a crash during the first three years of driving.

“Probably the single-most dangerous thing to a teen might be in the driveway,” says Dr. Maulfair. “Make sure your teen has been taught proper and safe driving techniques and be a good example by paying attention when you drive. Don't use your phone or text while driving,” says Maulfair. “The car and everything that surrounds it – other drivers, friends, distractions, lack of proper seat belt use – make it potentially the most dangerous situation your teenage child encounters.”

Emergency Rooms, Florida Hospital - Apopka


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