With the arrival of warmer weather, children are ready to enjoy the outdoors. But with summer fun, it is also important to keep kids safe.
According to the National Safe Kids Campaign, one in four kids age 14 and younger will sustain an injury that requires some type of medical attention. Of note, 40 percent of all injury-related emergency room visits and 42 percent of all injury deaths happen between May and August. Although these statistics are alarming and fearful for most, the good news is that 90 percent of these injuries are preventable by taking the appropriate precautions.
Safety steps you can take
1. Wearing a bicycle helmet is the best way to protect your child – and yourself. It is important that adults role model safe behaviors by wearing a bike helmet. When riding a bike, everyone should to stay alert and follow the rules of the road.
2. Teach your children how to safely cross the street by looking both ways and using crosswalks. Teach them not to walk in between parked cars so they are easily seen.
3. Choose playgrounds that have soft ground surfaces and match the developmental needs of your child. Playgrounds are meant to be a safe place for kids to expend their energy; however, children should not be left unsupervised while enjoying the playground. Many playground injuries happen when children use playground equipment inappropriately or use equipment that is not appropriate for their age or abilities.
4. Simply staying in the shade is one of the best ways to limit your UV exposure. If you are going to be in the sun, “Slip! Slop! Slap! and Wrap”
- Slip on a shirt
- Slop on sunscreen (SPF 30 or higher)
- Slap on a hat
- Wrap on sunglasses to protect the eyes and sensitive skin around your eyes
5. Be careful around water!
- Buddy up – make sure you never swim alone
- Know your limits – do not try to swim further than you are able to, or hold your breath
- Swim in safe areas – only swim when a life guard is on duty
- Life jackets – wear a life jacket if you cannot swim and while on a boat
- Cold isn't nice – do not enter cold water
- Reach or throw don’t go – to assist someone in trouble reach to them with a pole, broom or stick, you can also throw something such as a cooler or ball
- Follow the rules – when swimming follow posted rules and warning flags
- Never ever in bad weather – do not swim during storms
- Feet first – never dive into shallow or unknown water
- Learn to Swim!