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2019 Spring/Summer Update

Pool Dangers and Drowning Prevention

Swimming pools can have a powerful pull on little children—even when it's not swimming time. Drowning is the number 1 cause of death for children ages 1-4 and most drownings in kids 4 and under happen in home swimming pools. Most children drown when they wander out of the house and fall into a swimming pool that was not fenced off from the house. They can slip out a door, climb out a window, or even crawl through a doggy door to access the pool. This is why fences are the most effective, proven way to prevent drowning of young children. Click here for details about proper fencing.

Swim lessons are another way to help prevent drowing. The AAP recommends swim lessons as a layer of protection against drowning that can begin for many children starting at age 1. More details about the right age to start can be found here.

Never leave children alone in or near the pool or spa, even for a moment; close supervision by a responsible adult is the best way to prevent drowning in children. Designate a “water watcher” who is not distracted or under the influence of drugs or alcohol to watch children in and near the water. Whenever inexperienced swimmers are in or around water, an adult – preferably one who knows how to swim and perform CPR – should be within arm's length, providing "touch supervision.”

Seasonal Allergies

The trees are budding, flowers are beginning to bloom, and the grass is getting greener, all signs that if you have seasonal allergies or hay fever, you’re likely beginning to suffer from itchy, watery eyes and nose, sneezing, and nasal congestion. With all the rain and snow we’ve had over the past few months, this promises to be a severe allergy season! Here is a useful link on the management of seasonal allergies. If over the counter medications are not effective at relieving your child’s symptoms, or if you’re not certain whether allergy is the cause of those symptoms, please contact our office to make an appointment for your child.

Lyme Disease

With the onset of warmer weather comes an increased risk of contracting Lyme Disease, a tick-borne illness prevalent in southeast Pennsylvania. Be sure to check your children for ticks at least every 48 hours. Lyme-carrying ticks are quite small, so check the skin carefully! A comprehensive review and discussion of the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of Lyme Disease can be found at the CDC’s website.

Sun Safety Tips

Now that the warm weather months are here, exposure to the ultraviolet rays of the sun poses year-round problems for both children and adults. UV exposure can damage the skin resulting in premature aging, wrinkles, and worst of all, skin cancer (melanoma). Here are some tips for taking common sense precautions on avoiding the dangers of sun exposure:

  • Minimize exposure to the sun when it is strongest, between 10AM and 3PM
  • Wear protective clothing, including shirts and hats (preferably with a brim). Baseball hats may not protect much of the face and neck
  • Keep babies out of direct sunlight whenever possible
  • Use sunscreen or sunblock with a minimum SPF of at least 15, including a lip balm. Babies under 6 months of age should be protected with sunblock, which should be applied to any sun-exposed area. Wash the sunscreen off your baby when you’re back inside the house. Use a PABA-free, hypoallergenic product and avoid contact with the eyes
  • Wear sunglasses capable of blocking UVA and UVB rays
  • Avoid tanning beds - there is no such thing as a “safe tan!”

Backyard Safety Tips

During the spring and summer months, our children will be spending much of their time outdoors. Backyard safety for children begins with age-appropriate supervision. Be aware of certain backyard hazards that can impact your child’s safety:

  • Playsets: Annually, approximately 50,000 serious injuries on home playgrounds to children under the age of 15. Many of these injuries can result in deaths, usually from hangings from ropes or cords. Never allow ropes, jump ropes, or clotheslines to be attached to playground equipment and remember to install protective surfacing under and around any home playground equipment. 

  • Trampolines: PMA strongly recommends against either the indoor or outdoor use of trampolines, which are a significant cause of trauma in children. Sprains, fractures, spinal cord injuries, and deaths have been reported, even in a supervised environment. In fact, trampolines are the leading cause of fractures in children. Here are some valuable tips for parents: 
    • Never place a trampoline on cement or other unforgiving surface;
    • Always use a spring guard to secure the net;
    • Never allow your child to do flips!
    • Assure your child is monitored by an adult while on the trampoline; and
    • Never allow more than one child to use the trampoline at one time!
Trampolines should not be regarded as play equipment, and in no case should they be used by children under the age of 6.

Bicycle Safety Tips

Bicycle injuries are responsible for more childhood injuries than any other consumer product except motor vehicles. Riding without a helmet is mainly responsible for the severity of bike injuries, and consistently wearing an approved helmet can reduce the risk of head injury by up to 85%! The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests the following bicycle safety recommendations:

  • Wear a properly fitted, US Consumer Product Safety Commission approved bicycle helmet. Children riding as passengers in protective bike seats or trailers should also wear a helmet
  • Use of helmets should not be optional – enforce the rule as you would with wearing seatbelts in your car!
  • Have your child “fitted” for an appropriately-sized bike; avoid an oversize bike as they can be especially dangerous
  • Obey traffic lights and signs, and ride on the right hand side of the road in the same direction as traffic
  • Ride in single file when riding with others
  • Avoid riding at dusk or after dark – if you must wear reflective clothing!

For more information, please visit the bicycle safety page of the CDC.

Skateboarding and Scooter Safety

As skateboarders and scooter riders take to the streets and sidewalks this summer, the risk of serous injuries related to these activities increases, especially to children and adolescents. Here are some tips to help protect your children this summer from injury:

  • Make sure all skateboarders and scooter riders wear helmets, wrist guards and protective elbow and knee padding
  • Verify the helmet meets the US Consumer Product Safety Commission standards
  • Never ride skateboards or scooters in or near traffic and NEVER hold onto the rear of a moving car while skateboarding!

First Aid

Spring and summer are the time of year when we see an increase in the number of traumatic injuries. Please check our website for the latest First Aid tips.


With all spring sports starting, beware of concussion precautions:

  • A concussion is a type of brain injury that changes the way the brain normally works
  • A concussion is caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head
  • Concussions can also occur from a blow to the body that causes the head and brain to move rapidly back and forth
  • Even what seems to be a mild bump to the head can be serious
  • Concussions can have a more serious effect on a young, developing brain and need to be addressed correctly
  • Children and teens with a concussion should NEVER return to sports or recreation activities on the same day the injury occurred. They should delay returning to their activities until a health care professional experienced in evaluating for concussion says they are symptom-free and it’s OK to return to play
  • Click here for more information

Updated June, 2019

Pediatric Medical Associates of Abington
1077 Rydal Road Suite 300
Rydal PA 19046
Phone 215-572-0425
Fax 215-572-5929
Pediatric Medical Associates of Norristown
160 West Germantown Pike Suite D2
East Norriton, PA 19401
Phone 610-277-6400
Fax 610-275-8861
For after hours help, call