Spring break is coming up and summer is not too far behind. And of course, as kids will be kids, there are many things that they will want to do that are safe and there are some that they will want to do that are not. According to a few ER pediatricians, here are five things that parents should say a firm “no” to their kids doing.

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1.Ride an ATV.


Dr. Ee Tay, a pediatric emergency medicine specialist at Hassenfeld Children’s Hospital at NYU Langone, told, in a recent interview that allowing his kids to ride an ATV is a hard no and it should be for other parents too.

“My kids will never, ever go on an ATV. … They are so dangerous,” said Dr. Tay. Dr. Tay points out that the popular motor sports vehicles do not require training or a license and that children, overall are not properly equipt to judge speed or distance. “They just kind of go at it.”

The heavy vehicles can and have been known to flip easily.

The American Association of Pediatrics suggests that parents do not allow any child under the age of 16-years-old to ride on or operate an ATV.

2. Ride in the front seat prior to 13-years-old.

All kids want to cry “shotgun” and hop in the front seat next to the driver. They and possibly see what’s going on around them better and maintain a firm control over the radio. Sitting in the front seat can make a little one feel much older, but they shouldn’t ride up front until they are 13-years-old, according to the CDC. Additionally, the kids in the back must use proper restrains and safety harnesses.

“This means using the appropriate size and type of restraints — whether that’s a car seat, booster seat, seatbelt — for their age, height and weight,” Dr. Brent Kaziny, medical director of emergency management at Texas Children’s Hospital, told, in the same interview.

Even if a child seems large enough to ride, at a young age, they are not. Allowing a child to sit up front can potentially be a dangerous decision.

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3. Jump on most trampolines, (including trips to the trampoline parks too).

Trampolines are indeed fun and can be a give you a good cardio workout; however, they can be very dangerous as well.

“There’s just so many broken bones and orthopedic injuries,” said Dr. Tay.

Trampoline associated injuries include: lacerations, concussions and spinal injuries. The AAP suggests that children under six-years-old skip the trampoline all together. Those older should only use the trampoline as a part of a supervised activity such as gymnastics or other sports.

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4. Swim alone.

“More children ages 1 to 4 die from drowning than any other cause of death, per the CDC,” said Dr. Katie Lockwood, a primary care pediatrician at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Drownings can happen in any body of water but most commonly happen in swimming pools and bathtubs.

It is imperative that parents supervise their children when they are swimming, no matter the age or whether they are a “seasoned’ swimmer or not. If you cannot be there with them in the water as their “water watcher”, then neither can they.

5. Pet an unfamiliar animal.

Cute dogs on a walk with there owners are like beacons of fun for children. Of course, they are going to want to pet the animal and give it hugs and kisses. Well, that’s a no-go. Children should never pet an unfamiliar animal without the consent of the owner, and even then so, maybe they shouldn’t.

“One of the common types of injuries that we see is when the child gets right up in the animal’s face then the child gets bitten on their face,” said Dr. Tay.

A trip to the ER can be prevented if parents teach there children to interact responsibly and appropriately with other animals.

Remember these few suggestions from some of the nations top ER pediatricians and spring break/summer can be what it should be…fun!

Tiffany Silva

Tiffany Silva

Writer and Editor

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