Swimming pools – Drowning is the leading cause of injury-related death among 1- to 4-year-olds, and most of these deaths occur in home pools. Even when drowning isn’t fatal, it can cause serious brain damage and long-term disability.
Research suggests that formal swimming lessons can reduce the risk of drowning in young kids by up to 88 percent.
It’s also a good idea to install an isolation fence around your pool to keep out wanderers. Finally, remember: Drowning doesn’t always look like drowning.
Toy balls – According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, more than twice as many kids in 2012 were treated in emergency rooms for injuries related to toy balls than they were in 2010 for bouncy-house related injuries. The most common reason: Kids choke on balls.
Sunburns – One blistering sunburn during childhood more than doubles the chance of developing potentially deadly melanoma later in life, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation.
And pediatric melanoma rates have been climbing since the 1970s. Caucasian Americans, who are most vulnerable, have a 2 percent chance of developing melanoma in their lifetime.
Two sunscreen mistakes parents frequently make: They don’t apply enough of the stuff, and they don’t reapply every two hours.
Dog bites – Every year, more than 40 times as many kids require medical attention for dog bites than they do for bouncy house injuries.
Although it’s unclear what proportion of these bites come from family dogs vs. unfamiliar ones, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that parents teach children never to approach an unfamiliar dog, to stay motionless when approached by one, and to roll into a ball and be still if knocked over by one.
Insects – Tick-borne Lyme disease, rampant in the Northeast and upper Midwest in the summer months, is most common among boys ages 5 to 9 and can spread to the nervous system, heart and joints if untreated.
In 2013, every U.S. state reported cases of mosquito-borne West Nile virus, which can, in rare instances, be fatal.
And recently, the Florida Department of Health confirmed that mosquito-borne Dengue fever has afflicted 24 Floridians, and mosquito-borne Chikungunya virus has infected 18 Floridians since the beginning of 2014.
Although both diseases are still rare in the U.S., rates are increasing; worse, both are painful, debilitating and basically untreatable.