Accidents

Pedestrians being struck by cars remains a major concern.

While healthy habits and regular screenings can help prevent some ailments, others are considerably more difficult to control. Accidents can strike when we least expect them. This can be particularly true when it comes to kids.

“Childhood is an amazing time of life and kids are really curious and want to try a lot of things,” says Katie Donnelly, an emergency medicine physician at Children’s National Health System. “I try to stress to parents that it’s our role to let kids experience everything, but to do it safely.”

One big concern, particularly in high-traffic areas, remains the problem of pedestrians being struck by cars. There were more than 5,000 pedestrian fatalities in 2015, including hundreds of kids, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Another 70,000 were injured, a fifth of which were children and teens.

“We are unfortunately seeing more and more children struck by cars—and we really want to empower parents to talk about pedestrian safety and to practice it,” says Donnelly. “We encourage them to talk about cellphone usage, because we see a lot of children get buried in texts from their friends or the latest apps and not pay attention when they’re crossing the street, and that’s leading to a lot of problems.”

At the same time, younger children also remain all too susceptible to accidental poisonings. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that every day, over 300 children are rushed to an emergency room, and two die, after ingesting harmful chemicals.

Donnelly notes that parents who are concerned about something their child has consumed should call Poison Control immediately at 1-800-222-1222. The hotline will then direct callers to a local specialist.

(Top Doctors 2018February 2018)

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