August 4, 2015

How to keep your kid out of the ER


Summer shouldn’t be spent in a doctor’s office

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Summer for kids means freedom from school and running around with friends — maybe even tackling the Big Scream at Nashville Shores. But it can also mean more worry for parents. Below are some additional top culprits of unintentional injuries and some tips to help keep your little ones and teens safe this summer.

Lawn Mowers

Your teen may want to make some extra cash this summer by helping with the lawn. Be aware that lawn mower injuries include cuts to their legs and feet and in some cases, amputation of fingers.

Prevention: Make sure your youngsters show maturity, good judgment, strength and coordination before teaching them how to mow the lawn. As a general rule, your child should be at least:

  • 12 years of age to use a walk-behind power mower or hand mower
  • 16 years of age to operate a riding lawn mower

And while it might seem like a fun idea, don’t allow young children to ride as passengers on lawn mowers. They can fall and get caught under the mower.

Burns and Scalds

Approximately 80,000 children are treated for burn injuries every year.


In the kitchen:

  • Cook on rear burners when possible.
  • Keep the handles of pots and pans pointing to back of the stove.
  • Never drink or prepare hot liquids while holding a child.

In the bathroom,

  • Check water temperature with your hand or a bath thermometer before placing child in the tub.
  • Reduce the temperature of your water heater so the water is never hotter than 120 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Don’t leave young children unattended in the bathtub.

Did you know Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt is the only pediatric Level 1 Trauma Center within 150 miles? Visit its website to learn more about available services.