One of my favorite memories as a child was staying up late to watch the 4th of July fireworks display. Now, as a father, I get to re-experience these memories through my children’s eyes. Unfortunately, as a pediatric emergency medicine physician, I also see the darker side of this American tradition.
Each year there are thousands of emergency department visits for fireworks related injuries in the United States. Almost all are due to private use (not public displays) and kids, especially between the ages of 10-14 years old, are commonly injured. The majority of injuries are burns to the hands and face and eye injuries; however, every year there are sadly several deaths due to fireworks.
We’re excited about our newest endeavor – a blog that brings together the experts and specialists in pediatric care across UW Health to offer insights on issues affecting children and families today. We know that being a parent is one of the most important, and most challenging, responsibilities we can have. That is why our goal is to provide you with trusted resources to help you create a healthy and positive environment for your family.
Whether you are a new parent, or have a wealth of experience, we hope you’ll join the conversation and share your own thoughts on the topics you read about. We can all learn from each other and keep kids growing up healthy.
Water activities can be great fun but water safety needs to be strictly observed. The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests that children should have swimming lessons, but even the most experienced swimmers need to be smart and pay attention while in the water. There are a few things you should do to ensure everyone remains safe while having fun in the water:
Close to home there are wonderful opportunities that can be available for little expense with some minor planning. Some of our family’s most fun and memorable times involved overnight camping at one of the many beautiful state and county parks close to home.
An overnight camping trip can be an adventure and provide lots of learning opportunities for kids. Gets the kids involved with planning for the trip. You can start with meals. What will you eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner while you’re at your campsite? This is a great opportunity to talk about about healthy food choices, and find tasty alternatives to traditional snacks like potato chips.
While the majority of the year we are tied to the formal structure of school, team sports and lessons, the summer is an ideal time to enjoy outside physical activity, explore and learn new skills, cement family bonds, practice the skills of sharing and cooperation, and unwind. It is a great time to relax, enjoy each other’s company and learn to be present in the moment.
Turn off the TV, computers, personal games devices and even mobile phones. Lather up with sun block and get outside with the kids to enjoy the wonders of summer.
What summer activity does your family look forward to the most?