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With summer fun comes increased risks of head injuries

With the passage of the Memorial Day holiday, school children in Queens are eagerly anticipating the end of the school year. Along with the sunshine and warmer temperatures that accompany the summer months, are the many dangers posed by other activities commonly enjoyed between May and September.

Biking, playing at the playground and swimming are all activities that children readily enjoy during the summer months. While these types of activities are frequently associated with having fun, they also put a child at an increased risk of suffering a concussion or other serious head injury.

Parents would be wise to ensure that a child wears a helmet every time he or she rides a bicycle. Even a seemingly minor fall from a bicycle can result in a child hitting his or her head and suffering a concussion. Bike helmets have been credited with saving the lives of many adults and children who are involved in bicycle and motor vehicle accidents. In fact, according to the ThinkFirst Foundation, bicycle helmets have been proven effective “in reducing the risk for brain injury" by 87 percent.

While at the playground this summer, parents would be wise to ensure that they monitor a child's activities and inspect equipment to ensure it's safe and well-maintained. Old, defective and ill-maintained playground equipment poses many risks to children who may suffer falls from heights and hit their heads. In fact, annually, roughly 200,000 U.S. children are rushed to emergency rooms after suffering playground injuries—the vast majority of which result from falls.

For parents, safety must also remain a chief concern while swimming at public pools. From a child who slips and falls on a slippery pool deck to a child whose hair becomes entangled in a pool drain, pool-related accidents that result in brain injuries can be serious and debilitating.

For a child, the effects of a brain injury are often significant and life-altering. This summer, parents are reminded to take extra steps to protect a child from suffering a head injury. In cases where a child's brain injury results from another individual's or business' negligence, legal action may be warranted.

Source: Kentucky.com, "A few tips for a safe summer," Amanda M. Rist, May 31, 2015

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