Common sense and old wisdoms go a long way in avoiding the risk of injury

As a local pediatrician, Courtney Larke sees the result of risks children take when they’re playing outside – especially when they are unsupervised. 

But it doesn’t have to be that way.

Larke, MD, says many of the safety tips she gives parents and kids are just old-fashioned common sense. Chief among them: helmets. (That also goes for bike-riding parents, too!)

The most common injuries Larke treats during the spring and summer at Glenway Pediatrics and Western Ridge Pediatrics are sprains, broken bones and head injuries from falls.    

“It is extremely important,” Larke says, “to teach your children to play safely while outside, especially if unsupervised by an adult."

Helmets are not for bikes alone. Think scooters and skateboards, too. Head injuries can have a terrible impact on kids. After all, their heads contain the most important thing they’ve got: their brain.

“Head injuries are extremely common this time of year,” she says. “Helmets are the only thing protecting kids’ brains while riding, so it is extremely important that all children have a properly fitted helmet no matter how experienced the rider.”

Even if your child is careful, a helmet is essential because too often, kids don’t see approaching dangers. “Kids can’t predict when another rider, car, or stick in the road may cause them to crash,” she says. “So they should stay protected at all times.”

Adult supervision is even more important when it comes to another potentially dangerous place for kids: water. Pools, lakes, rivers, even creeks.

"Water safety and adult supervision are of paramount importance for children who are not well-established swimmers,” she says. “Accidents can happen in the blink of an eye, so parents should be within an arm’s length of any child in the water who does not know how to swim.”