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Inside Pediatrics Podcast

Injury Prevention Professionals Day: Keeping Children Safe in Alabama

BIRMINGHAM – The trauma team at Children’s of Alabama cares for about 500 trauma cases per year, a fourth of which are critical. It takes a team of providers – surgeons, emergency medicine physicians and nurses, respiratory therapists, radiologists, pharmacists, chaplains, social workers and child life specialists – to provide the highest level of care for trauma patients and their families.

Adam Lansdon, trauma and emergency management coordinator for Children’s of Alabama, said the types of injuries they treat varies depending on the time of year. “In the spring, especially here in Alabama, we experience a lot of severe weather outbreaks and tornadoes, and there are injuries as a result. In the summer, we have a lot more children on the road at different times of day versus during the school year, and so there are a lot more car crashes during those summer months,” he said.

Children’s is designated as a Level 1 Trauma Center by the Alabama Department of Public Health, a status it has held continually since 2013. Critically injured patients with life-threatening injuries require quick, specialized care that can only be provided by a trauma center.

“Traumatic injuries are different from isolated injuries as they have more potential to cause serious harm or damage to your body. A trauma can affect multiple systems in the body,” Lansdon said.

Traumas can be blunt force or penetrating. “Blunt force trauma is when an object hits the body or you hit another object and that force is great enough to cause serious internal damage,” Lansdon said. “A penetrating injury is when something actually punctures your skin, enters your body and causes damage.”

And while the trauma team is always prepared for any type of injury, parents and caregivers can set the tone at home to keep children safe.

“Your children need to see you putting on your seatbelt every time you get in the car. Your children need to see you putting on that helmet when you go to your safe space at home preparing for a tornado,” Lansdon said. “Have real authentic conversations with your children, and let them know what potentially could happen to them or what the outcome could be. Explain to them what life post-injury could look like and how it would affect not only them, but also the entire family,” Lansdon said.

The American Trauma Society has designated May 12, 2021 as National Injury Prevention Professionals Day. Visit ChildrensAL.org/ChildSafety for more tips on keeping children safe from injury.

Since 1911, Children’s of Alabama has provided specialized medical care for ill and injured children, offering inpatient, outpatient and primary care throughout central Alabama. Ranked among the best children’s hospitals in the nation by U.S. News & World Report, Children’s serves patients from every county in Alabama and nearly every state. Children’s is a private, not-for-profit medical center that serves as the teaching hospital for the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) pediatric medicine, surgery, psychiatry, research and residency programs. The medical staff consists of UAB faculty and Children’s full-time physicians as well as private practicing community physicians.