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Trauma Season is Here

CONTACT:  David Billig             (914) 493 8028



Memorial Day—the unofficial start to summer traditionally sparks an increase in trauma related injuries and visits to the emergency room, especially by children

For many people the arrival of Memorial Day especially when coupled with warmer weather, signifies the unofficial start of the summer season and all sorts of fun outdoor activities.  However, for emergency departments across the country, Memorial Day weekend also signals the start of another season—the trauma season.  

 “During the summer—or the trauma season, we commonly see an increase in traumatic injuries caused by and increase in recreational activities such as scooter, skateboard, bike, motorcycle and ATV riding,” said Dr. Darshan Patel, Director of the Pediatric Emergency Department at Westchester Medical Center.  “Many of these patients are young children.”

Recent studies indicate that nearly half of all emergency department visits by children under the age of 14 occur during the spring and summer months. Particularly during the long, hot days, between Memorial Day and Labor Day.  Many of these visits are for children who have been injured while unsupervised on recreational devices like rollerblades, bicycles, scooters, skateboards and ATVs which were intended to be fun.  Unfortunately, many of these injuries can be attributed to improper use of the device and often lack of adult supervision.

 “Young children are always at higher risk of injury because they're unable to judge their own skills and strength accurately, said Dr. Patel. “Parents can lower the risk of injury to a child and even to themselves by using a little common sense and by following a few widely recognized safety recommendations.” 

 Experts agree that whenever children use scooters, skateboards or bicycles, they should wear protective gear, especially a helmet.  According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, wearing a helmet can reduce the risk of head injury by 85% and the risk of brain injury by nearly 88%. 

“Adults also experience a greater rate of injury and emergency room visits during the trauma season as well, and they are just as likely to be treated for injuries sustained as a result of inappropriate or improper use of recreational devices, said Dr. Patel.  “However, the difference is that these injuries and occasionally fatalities are often associated with alcohol consumption and poor judgment.”

 Patel added that, “Head injuries from riding a bike, scooter, motorcycle or any other wheeled apparatus are probably the most easily prevented summertime injuries for both children and adults.  Helmets are the key to serious injury prevention, the most important thing you can do during these activities is to wear a helmet to prevent a head injury.  Don’t let your summer season be remembered as the trauma season.  Always use common sense, if it doesn’t seem like a good idea, then it probably isn’t.

Kids, Bicycles, Scooters, Skateboards and Head Injuries

Some nationally recognized age recommendations:

Children under the age of:

16 should NEVER operate an adult-sized all-terrain vehicle (ATV) under any circumstance.

12 should not ride motorized scooters

10 should not use skateboards without adult supervision

8 should not use scooters without adult supervision

6 should never ride ATV’s

5 should not use skateboards.

Get loose!

Most of us are aware that stretching before a short jog or an afternoon tennis match is important. But many of us forget that we can injure ourselves just as easily lifting a bag of fertilizer, climbing a tree or the steps at the beach or even sitting in a car for 8 hours driving to Virginia Beach.  These all seem like harmless activities, however they have one thing in common. They can all lead to surprising injuries if we are not physically prepared.  Loosen up before any physical activities, stretch and be sure to consider your limitations before you begin any activity or project.  For more information on injury prevention visit www.westchestermedicalcenter.com


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