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Keep your kids safe (and out of the ER) this summer

With all the fun stuff there is to do when it’s warm outside, it’s no surprise that emergency room visits spike during the summer months. Each summer, hundreds of thousands of children end up in the ER for a variety of injuries sustained in the great outdoors. Here are some of the top ways youngsters end up injured and what you can do to keep your kids safe:

Playgrounds. Each year, more than 200,000 children are injured on playgrounds nationwide, according to the National Program for Playground Safety. Review this checklist so you know what to look for before letting your children use playground equipment.

Bounce houses. Every 45 minutes, a child is rushed to an emergency room due to injuries from an inflatable house, or ‘bounce house.’ Think twice about letting a small child inside a crowded inflatable play area. Check out this video to see why the medical community is so concerned.

Heat. Whether they’re playing outside or left in a car for a few minutes, high temperatures can seriously injure a small child. Never leave a child unattended in a car, even for a few minutes. And make sure children get plenty of liquids when they play outside and that they play in the shade as much as possible.

Fireworks. We don’t mean to spoil the party, but each year, small children are injured by fireworks. Fireworks mishaps have caused severe eye injuries, blindness and facial disfigurement. The U.S. Product Safety Commission has some important tips for parents at this link.

Bicycles, skateboards and scooters. If you’re riding anything at all with wheels, you and your children should always wear a helmet. Period. Accidents on bicycles, skateboards, scooters and while skating can cause a wide array of injuries, including catastrophic brain injuries.