Summer is here in the Twin Cities. The sun is shining, the birds are chirping, and children are spending the majority of their time outside. The Urgency Room wants your children to have the best summer possible while remaining healthy and safe, that’s why we’ve compiled this list of some of common injuries children sustain during the summer. The Urgency Room is open 365 days a year and is here to help if any of these common injuries should happen to your child this summer.
1. Broken Bones and Sprains
Breaks and sprains are some of the most common summer injuries children sustain. Bicycles cause more children’s injuries than any other child’s product, with skateboards coming in close at number two. On average, 112,434 children injure themselves each summer on bicycles alone.
Preventative measures can be taken to help your children stay safe while riding bikes, skateboards and scooters this summer. Make sure that kids wear safety equipment while riding. Helmets aren’t always enough—add wrist guards and knee pads for added protection.
In addition to making sure your child is properly geared up for bikes, boards and more, remember to check outdoor equipment like rope swings and playsets for deterioration annually. Nothing can put a damper on summer fun faster than a swing that snaps in mid-air.
For breaks, your child will need to be seen by a doctor right away. At The Urgency Room, we have everything needed to treat your child’s broken bone in-house. With our short wait times and an extensive array of diagnostic and treatment tools, your child will be on their way to recovery sooner.
It can be hard to tell the difference between a severe sprain and a fracture, so we recommend bringing your child in for a quick examination if you are unable to determine which of these two common injuries is plaguing your child.
If your son or daughter has sustained a minor sprain by rolling their ankle of landing funny on their arm, we recommend following the R.I.C.E treatment plan to alleviate symptoms. If the pain is persistent, or if abnormal swelling occurs, that might be an indication of a broken bone and should be treated by a professional as soon as possible.
R.I.C.E for Minor Sprains
- Cease activity and rest.
- Apply an ice compress that has been wrapped in a towel to the affected area.
- Use an Ace Bandage or similar wrap to compress the site of the sprain.
- Keep the injured appendage elevated above the heart. For arms, sitting in a recliner with the injured arm on pillows propped on the arm of the chair will do. For legs/ankles, have your child lay on a bed, then prop up the injured limb with pillows placed beneath it.
If your child plays summer sports, concussions should be on your radar. Some common causes include force trauma to the head while playing football and taking a ball to the head while playing baseball or softball. Concussions should be assessed and treated immediately. If your child sustains any form of trauma to the head, it is important to seek treatment.
There is a wide spectrum of concussion severity, so the importance of taking your child in for diagnosis and treatment can not be understated. Concussions can result in long-term side effects that can plague your child for decades such as:
- Disturbed Sleep
A recent study was conducted on healthy athletes and athletes who had suffered concussions 30 years ago. It was found that those who has sustained head trauma had symptoms similar to those of early Parkinson’s disease, additionally, those who had suffered head trauma experienced a thinning of the cortex is the same part of the brain that Alzheimer’s affects.
If it will take a while to reach proper care, do not let your child fall asleep. The Urgency Room has three locations spread out over the greater Twin Cities including Eagan, Vadnais Heights and Woodbury. When seconds count, you can count on us.
Road rash, cuts on the feet from being barefoot on rough terrain, wiping out on outdoor structures, bikes or rollerblades—there are a thousand summertime causes for lacerations. Some lacerations can be shallow and allow for home treatment, but deeper wounds should be treated by a professional.
If the wound is shallow, clean the area and make sure that you have removed all dirt and debris from the wound. Apply an antiseptic and lightly cover the area with gauze. After 24 hours, you want the wound to begin healing, so you need to let the wound breath. The wound should no longer be bleeding; if it is, seek medical help. Remove your child’s gauze, air out the wound and limit strenuous activity.
Signs of infection: If the wound discharge has unusual color or odor, if red stripes start surrounding the area, if the area is abnormally hot to the touch or if your child develops a fever, seek medical attention.
If the wound is deep, apply pressure and keep the affected area elevated above the heart while driving to a care facility. Your medical care provider will determine if the wound needs stitches or not.
4. Dog Bites
Everyone wants to be outside in the summer, including animals. Every dog is different, and it’s not fair to make assumptions about an entire breed, so exercising dog safety around all dogs is important for children in the summer (and year round).
Children should always ask the owner to pet a dog before approaching. Similarly, never let children reach their hands over a fence to pet a dog without the owner's verbal approval. Just because a dog is not barking does not mean that dog is friendly. Also, keep in mind that a small dog can bite just like a large dog.
If your child is bitten by a dog, one of the most important steps to follow is to get the dog’s medical information from the owner. Even if the wound is just a minor scratch, if a dog has broken the skin there is a risk of infection, especially if that dog is sick or has rabies. Approximately 4.5 million dog bites occur each year in the United States and nearly 1 out of 5 bites becomes infected.
The steps for caring for a dog bite are the same with that of a regular laceration, explained above.
5. Bee Stings
With summer comes bees, it’s just a fact of life. Those of us that have ever been stung by a bee know how painful it can be. The biggest concern when it comes to bee stings is anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis is the allergic reaction to bee stings and should be treated immediately.
Signs of Anaphylaxis:
- Swelling of the Lips
- Itchy Throat
- Blue Lips
- Severe Hives Around the Affected Area
- Facial Swelling
For a normal sting when anaphylaxis is not present, wash off the affected area with warm soap and water. If a stinger is still visible in the skin, use a hard object like a credit card to scrape away the stinger. Do not use tweezers as this might push the stinger further into the skin or may release more toxin. Ice the area and monitor your child for signs of anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis can occur within minutes of seconds after a sting.
If you see an allergic reaction happening rush to your nearest medical treatment facility. The Urgency Room has three locations spread out across the Twin Cities for this very reason. Parents might want to consider having their children tested for allergies so that they can carry an EpiPen if necessary.
Stay Safe in the Twin Cities This Summer
We want you and your family to stay healthy while enjoy the beautiful weather this summer, and that’s why we are open every day all summer long from 8 am-10 pm. If you come to see us for one of the common injuries listed above, remember to view our online library of aftercare procedures to help with your child’s care after you leave our care. Let our family take care of your family this summer.