File photo of children at a playground courtesy of © Can Stock Photo / gpointstudioFile photo of children at a playground courtesy of © Can Stock Photo / gpointstudio

Safety equipment key to keeping kids out of the emergency room this spring

With sunny, warmer days ahead, London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC) is offering tips to help keep children out of the emergency room this spring.

Kids getting on their bikes and scooters or tackling playground climbing equipment for the first time since the fall typically leads to an uptick in visits to LHSC-run Children's Hospital.

"We see about a 100 per cent increase in injuries in the season," said Dr. Rod Lim, the medical director and section chief of the paediatric emergency department at Children's. "Broken bones, sprains, lacerations are incredibly common this time of year."

Lim added that these injuries can often be avoided simply by teaching kids the importance of putting safety first.

"Parents should have an honest conservation around the seriousness of falls with their children," said Lim. "Some of it is just ensuring that children know to wear the proper safety equipment as they're riding bikes and using roller blades. They should be wearing a helmet and shin and elbow pads."

Lim also notes the spring is a good time to remind kids about water safety so it has time to sink in before summer vacation hits.

"We tend to have one or two tragedies per year around this time involving water and children," said Lim. "All pool owners who have children should always ensure that they are well aware of the rules around pool use. Latches may not be totally closed, there could be water on top of pool covers, so it's just super important for parents to have that conservation and remind children of the water safety rules."

Another good idea is to make sure kids heading outside for an afternoon of play apply sunscreen first and have water with them to stay hydrated.

Should an injury occur, Children's Hospital staff will be there to help, Lim noted.

"Obviously if you think it is something that can wait or isn't urgent, we encourage parents to contact their primary care provider," said Lim. "But if you're worried about broken bones, lacerations or head injuries we are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week and are here to serve the community."

Current emergency department wait times for Children's Hospital are posted online and can be found by clicking here

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