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Summer Safety

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No one wants to see a child injured.

Yet, in Utah, accidents involving children occur far too often. In fact, a first of its kind five-year national survey that measured the injury rate among children through the age of 14 ranks Utah a dismal 39th in the country.

The risks increase significantly during the dangerous summertime months of May through August. In 2003, for example, 28 children in Utah died, and another 20,372 made emergency room visits due to summertime injuries.

The group that did the survey, Safe Kids Worldwide, identified the five most common causes of summertime child injury and deaths as drowning, biking, falls, motor vehicle passenger injuries and pedestrian injuries.

Advocacy groups say much more can be done to prevent tragic accidents. They encourage more active supervision of children around water and on playgrounds. They recommend more widespread and proper use of proper seat restraints in vehicles. They promote the use of appropriate helmets when biking, skating or doing other activities that could lead to a fall.

Let the survey results be a wake up call for all parents. In KSL's view, we can all do more to encourage safety by taking the relatively simple precautions that are proven to prevent unfortunate life-altering accidents among children.

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