Emergency room visits spike when children go back to school

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PITTSBURGH - Trips to the emergency room spike in September as kids head back to school.  The most devastating injuries are children being hit by a car while walking to school or getting on or off the school bus. Target 11's Robin Taylor takes a look at these safety issues.

Children's Hospital treats a lot of broken bones in September, because kids just aren't as aware of their surroundings as adults are.

Safety experts said when kids are waiting for the school bus, they should be five giant steps away from the curb, and when they cross in front of the bus they should wave to the driver first.

If they walk to school, make sure they know where to safely cross streets.

Remember, kids get very excited and don't always think first.

"If you see a child standing on the corner, don't expect that they're going to wait for you to go by.  Even if they're looking at you, kids cannot judge distance, they cannot judge speed, so expect the unexpected and slow down," said Chris Vitale, RN, the manager of injury prevention and Children’s Hospital.

Playgrounds are another danger zone.  ER doctors treat a lot of broken bones and head injuries from kids falling off swings and other playground equipment.

Vitale says make sure you go over the rules with your kids, so they know what's OK and what's not.  That could save you a trip to the emergency room.