Children’s hospitals across Sydney are reporting a surge in the number of injured kids presenting to emergency departments since the government’s coronavirus social distancing measures were put in place.
While life in isolation has led to some positive benefits, including more time for children to exercise and play, it also appears to be driving an increase in the number kids getting hurt riding bikes and scooters.
There were 140 children with bike and scooter injuries needing treatment at the two hospitals, compared to 86 at the same time last year.
The spike in injuries has prompted health experts to warn parents and carers to remain extra vigilant with their kids during isolation.
Dr Soundappan Soundappan, a trauma surgeon at The Children’s Hospital at Westmead, said social isolation had encouraged families to be more physically active in and around the home, but it was important that the right safety precautions were followed to keep children safe.
“The high increase in bikes and scooter accidents is worrying but our message to parents is simple. Please ensure your children are wearing helmets, even when riding around the backyard or driveway. These necessary precautions can prevent serious head injuries and even save a life,” Dr Soundappan said.
Wearing a helmet has been shown to reduce the risk of a head injury by between 60 and 90 percent, she said.
“People often think speed is the main cause for severe head injuries but significant impact can also occur from a stationary fall onto a hard surface, like a driveway or pathway which is why parents should always ensure their children are wearing helmets, regardless of where they are riding,” Dr Soundappan said.
Parents and carers also shouldn’t be put off taking their kids to hospitals because of the coronavirus pandemic, he said.
“Our hospitals are safe places with our experts ready to care for children and their families when they need us the most. So please, if you have a medical emergency, don’t delay. Visit when you need us,” Dr Soundappan said.
Contact reporter Emily McPherson at email@example.com.
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