Safe Summer Sun


A senior doctor in the Western Trust's Accident and Emergency Department is calling for all children of all ages to play safe this summer.


Dr Stephen Clenaghan, an A&E consultant based at Altnagelvin, said: “Summer is a great time for children and young people to get out and be active especially in the good weather and long evenings.


“As preparations get underway for the school holidays we would like to remind parents that A&E statistics for the Western Trust’s Altnagelvin Hospital show attendances for children are highest during the summer.


“Analysis of trauma attendance at Altnagelvin’s A&E Department shows that 25 children under 18 attended each day in June 2010 as a result of unintentional injuries.


“The three most common activities contributing to injuries were: sport including football and rugby; play equipment including trampolines and swings; bikes and scooters."


Dr Clenaghan continued “We hope that by reinforcing safety messages incidences of these injuries will be reduced and that children will have a fun-filled and safe summer.”


Here are some safety tips from Western Trust’s A&E Department that will help keep your child's summer a safe one.


Summer Safety Tips


Never leave children unattended in or near the water. Wear flotation devices at all times. Empty paddling pools or water play toys after use.


Make sure children always wear a helmet and protective elbow and knee pads when riding a bicycle or scooter, Heeleys, rollerblading or skateboarding.


Protect children from excessive exposure to sun -- especially from 12 noon to 4 pm. Use a sunscreen with a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of 15 or higher and drink plenty of fluids.


When setting up play equipment including slides, trampolines and swings, make sure that there is plenty of space around the equipment. Don’t place them on concrete/tarmac ground and keep clear of walls and fences.

Supervise children whenever they use play equipment making sure children stay clear of the front and back of swings while in use or limit numbers using bouncy castles or trampolines.


Keep children away from areas where any lawn mowers are being used. Never allow children to ride on mowers.


Minimise the risk of bee and insect stings by having children wear shoes and light-coloured clothing. Use insect repellent sparingly on older children and never on infants.


Keep children from playing near barbecues and bonfires and always have water present when fire is involved. Only adults should use lighter fluid.


Strap children in a properly fitting seat belt, car seat or booster seat when travelling by car or aeroplane.