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Columbus, Ohio
USA

Blog

Why injury? It's this simple: more children die from injuries every year than from the next three leading causes of death combined. Nobody knows this because no one is talking about it. In the U.S., one child dies every hour from an injury that could have been prevented. Around the world, a child dies every 30 seconds as the result of an injury. You don’t need to have a child to know that we can do better.

 

A Real Pain at the Park

End Injury

" Burgers_Shenandoah_River " by Virginia State Parks  (CC BY 2.0)

"Burgers_Shenandoah_River" by Virginia State Parks (CC BY 2.0)

I spent much of my childhood shoeless and am still known to shed my Chucks and walk around the office in my socks on occasion. When you're a kid, running through the park barefoot is one of the many joys of summer. I remember being about 6 and playing tag or some other chasing game with friends at a picnic. At one point I came flying around a tree and then dropping to the ground in pain. Some careless person had used the base of that particular tree to ditch the still-hot embers of their BBQ charcoal. I don't remember the details of how my foot got bandaged up, but I vividly recall sitting like any pouty kid would, as I watched my brother play in a fountain at Sea World later that day. I remember the sting of the injustice and the thought of "it's not fair" running through my mind. I didn't get to enjoy the coolness of the water on a heat-soaked California summer day.

I eventually got over the schoolgirl sadness, and the bandage came off without a scar. The memory left a mark though. I will shed my shoes in a heartbeat to tiptoe through the sand or feel the splendor of the grass between my toes, but I keep an eye open for possible points of pain. I do this with my kids too. I don't go bonkers and scour parks before letting them run free, but I'm not naive either. People don't always think through their decisions and sometimes that thoughtlessness leads to a bittersweet childhood memory and a cautionary blog post about frolicking around barefoot.

I'm very lucky that I didn't hobble away with a really bad burn. I wish the same for you and your littles. Keep an eye our for potential hazards while you enjoy the cool summer breeze across your shoeless piggies.

Blog post courtesy of reader Elizabeth.

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