Avoiding summer trauma injuries

Summertime means children are out of school and involved in activities that may lead to injury. But as WNCN reports with the help of UNC Children's trauma program director, Dr. Kim Erickson, and one N.C. Children's Hospital family, simple precautions can keep children safe and enjoying fun in the sun.

Avoiding summer trauma injuries click to enlarge While Rhiley recovers at N.C. Children's Hospital, her father, Trenton, shares the story of her harrowing accident.

July 30, 2015

Summertime can be a season of fun and exploration for children. Days stretch longer. Kids are out of school and involved in more outdoor activities. In most cases, such activities are the fabric of happy childhood memories—but many can also put kids at higher risk for injury. 

Kimberly Erickson, MD, director of the UNC Children’s trauma program, tells WNCN reporter Eileen Park, it’s trauma—not cancer—that poses the biggest threat to children. Trauma is the leading cause of childhood death in the United States, and traumatic injuries are more prevalent in the summer months. 

Trenton Evans shares the story of his 4-year-old daughter, Rhiley's, traumatic accident with WNCN as a cautionary tale to other families.

“We got on the lawn mower, we were cutting grass, everything was fine,” Trenton recalls of that afternoon on June 6, 2015. “She got real fidgety, and she stood up. She tipped over my leg, and went over the side, and I jerked away."

Evans says his heart stopped. “She was like, 'Daddy! My leg!'” 

Rhiley survived and has been recovering at N.C. Children's Hospital since the accident, her care team miraculously saving her leg.

“I teach my daughter, you know, Daddy will always be there to protect you,” says Evans. “And in this instance it happened with me.”

Watch the WNCN report >>