Summer Safety:: Preventing and Treating Pediatric Emergencies

We are honored to parter with The Heights Emergency Room to share both summer safety tips and the best way to treat pediatric emergency situations.

Summer Safety:: Preventing and Treating Pediatric Emergencies | Houston Moms Blog

Oh summer. The idea of you is so dreamy:: a relaxed schedule, hours spent outside at the pool or watching the kids play on their bikes and scooters, and soaking up the endless sunshine. But the reality of this season is quite different than the romanticized version in my mind. Along with endless snack and screen time requests, summer activities all come with the risk of injury or illness. Constant diligence and supervision for summer safety is absolutely crucial, along with a plan should medical attention be required. 

Summer Safety at the Pool

Long hours spent at the pool is definitely my favorite summer activity to do with my kids. First, it’s free. Second, my kids never tire of going and it completely wears the out, making bedtime a breeze. However, we have all heard the horror stories of childhood drownings at the pool, often when a parent or caregiver was just feet away. To prevent a tragedy, I make a priority a few basic safety tips for our summers spent at the pool. 

I leave my phone at home

Our neighborhood pool is just a few blocks from our home, so I feel comfortable being phone free and unreachable for a few hours at a time. To be honest, the temptation to just do a quick check of my text messages or Facebook notifications is too strong, and I don’t want to risk taking my eyes off my young kids for even a few seconds. 

Swimming lessons

Obviously, the best way to prevent a child from drowning is to teach them how to swim. Fortunately, there are many options available for parents who want to enroll their child in swimming lessons. This year, my daughter has been taking private lessons right in our neighborhood pool a few hours a week. It’s been so convenient, and along with strokes, she’s learned survival techniques should she ever find herself in a potential drowning situation. It gives me so much peace of mind that she can now swim, and it’s made the pool so much more fun and relaxing!

Heat Exhaustion and Dehydration

As much as I’d love to send my kids outside to play all day during these summer days, in the Houston climate, that’s not possible. It’s just too hot. Kids can suffer from heat exhaustion and dehydration quickly, so it’s important to take the proper precautions to avoid them. 

Play outside in the morning or evening

My kids wake up really early, so the morning hours are ideal for outdoor playtime during the summer. We eat breakfast, then hit the park or bike trails for an hour or two before the sun starts really beating down. Then, in the afternoons, we can do indoor activities like the library, indoor play place, or yes, screen time. 

Make kids drink water

This seems obvious, but I have to be really intentional about making my kids drink water regularly when they are playing outside. They often get so wrapped up in their games or playground activities that they forget or don’t want to take the time to stop and drink. 

Know the signs of heat exhaustion 

It’s important when caring for children in the summer heat that we are aware of what heat exhaustion and dehydration look like. Kids lose fluids through excessive sweating, and if they don’t replace those fluids, their condition can become serious quickly. In children, some of the symptoms of heat exhaustion {which can lead to heat stroke} are::

  • Cool, clammy skin and/or goosebumps, even in the heat
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Irritability

If your child experiences these symptoms while outside, it’s crucial you bring them indoors and get them cool and drinking fluids. If severe, medical attention may be required. 

Falls, Breaks, and Head Injuries

It may seem overboard, but I am a stickler for safety when using riding toys, bikes, etc. as well as other outdoor equipment. Broken bones, cuts and head injuries do happen, but I want to be diligent in preventing them if at all possible. 

Helmets- every single time

When my kids are riding their bikes or scooters, they wear a helmet. Yes, even if they are just riding down the block to their friend’s house. Every time, even though they whine and complain about them. Head injuries can be too devastating to take the risk. 

Trampoline safety

I know having a backyard trampoline is controversial, and trampoline injuries are one of the most frequent seen in emergency rooms. But, the trampoline provides hours of fun and exercise for my kids, and it’s a great way to relieve tension in my anxious child. We do, however have strict summer safety rules for the trampoline. We only allow two children {of the same physical abilities} on at a time, and we check the net frequently to make sure it’s secure with no holes or tears. My kids also know they can’t roughhouse or wrestle on the trampoline. 

Emergencies Do Happen

Summer Safety:: Preventing and Treating Pediatric Emergencies

Despite my diligence in keeping summer safety a priority, I realize accidents and emergencies do happen, and I have a plan of action for when they do. In an emergency situation, I want to take my kids somewhere with staff experienced and knowledgeable of treating children, and I don’t want to have to wait. The Heights Emergency Room fills both these requirements, and offers so much more as well. Their facility features::

  • Board-certified emergency medicine Physicians
  • ER/ICU trained nurses
  • Specialty trained healthcare professionals
  • Open 24/7, including holidays
  • Private patient rooms
  • Inviting atmosphere with no wait time
  • Adult and pediatric emergency room services
  • Well-stocked on-site pharmacy with IV medications such as antibiotics, cardiac antiarrhythmics, and blood thinners.
  • Digital imaging equipment including X-rays, CT scans, and ultrasounds
  • Laboratory tests such as complete blood counts, metabolic panels, cardiac enzymes, liver tests, urinalysis, and drug screens

I especially love that The Heights Emergency Room is so well equipped to handle pediatric emergencies.  Their nurses have extensive pediatric experience and are all certified in Pediatric Advanced Life Support. In addition, the nurses have decades of combined experience working in pediatric emergency rooms. Some of their RNs have worked as pediatric emergency flight nurses.

The Heights Emergency Room understands the additional needs that come with children’s care. Their dedicated over sized pediatric rooms have additional seating for family and siblings {because I have three kids, this is key!}. They take special effort to involve the parents in their child’s care. They carry multiple topical anesthetics to help ease the pain of laceration repairs or IV needle sticks, and also keep an extensive pharmacy stocked with pediatric medications. They offer procedural sedation for children to make painful procedures much more tolerable for little patients and their parents. Situations where procedural sedation can be used in children include laceration repair, abscess drainage, spinal taps, and setting broken bones. All these procedures are routine for the staff at The Heights Emergency Room.

Summer safety is so important. Keeping our kids safe so we can fully enjoy these hot summer days requires planning and intentional prevention. But when emergencies and injuries do happen, I’m so glad there’s a convenient, excellent emergency room that I can trust with the care of my children.

Connect with The Heights Emergency Room

101 N. Loop W #300
Houston, TX  77018

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