Tips to Keep Your Children Safe During the Summer
I hope everyone had an amazing Fourth of July. With summer in full effect, your children are probably excited to spend a lot of their time playing outdoors. It’s important to keep in mind some important safety tips to keep children safe. Remember, prevention is always the key.
Young children learning to walk and explore, excel at getting out of sight – Always provide constant supervision. Never leave children alone near any container of water, including pools, ponds, tubs, buckets, toilets, or aquariums. A child can drown in as little as 2 inches of water. Here are 9 tips to prevent drowning:
- Always provide constant supervision.
- Find safe ways to play with water.
- Never leave a baby alone in the bath for any reason.
- Drowning happens quickly and quietly – the adult should be undistracted at all times.
- Be ready for emergencies! Learn CPR and keep emergency numbers handy.
- Teach children water-safety behaviors, such as no running around the pool area.
- Empty containers that hold water immediately after use and store out of child’s reach and sight.
- Keep bathroom doors closed and latch toilet seat covers when not in use.
- Make sure small children cannot leave the house through pet doors or unlocked doors and get to water areas.
Make outside time in the sun safe and fun.
- Avoid the sunlight when it’s most intense, usually between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
- Use a sunscreen of SPF 15 or more and apply 30 minutes before going outdoors, even when it’s cloudy. Reapply every two hours or more often after swimming or sweating.
- Water, sand, and snow make the sun’s rays stronger.
- Wear protective clothing and cool sunglasses that block 99 to 100 percent of UVA and UVB rays.
- Drink plenty of water.
Avoid Bug Bites
As the weather warms up, your children are not the only ones enjoying the outdoors – so do bugs. How to prevent bug bites:
- Apply insect repellant before spending time outside.
- Avoid bright-colored clothing.
- Cover arms and legs as much as possible.
- Ensure your child wears shoes when playing outside
- Avoid perfumes, scented soaps, and lotions.
Children tend to forget to take water breaks. When playing outdoors in the sun, make sure that your child drinks plenty of water (about every 15-20 minutes) to prevent dehydration. Avoid soft drinks and limit access to juices. During hot and humid days, use a water bottle to cool them down.
Playground injuries account for over 200,000 emergency room visits each year. Tips to avoid playground safety:
- Always supervise your child on the playground.
- Choose the right play equipment for your child’s age and skills.
- Check equipment before playing on it, such as hot surfaces.
- Avoid clothing and jewelry that could easily get caught around your child’s neck or pose a hazard, such as necklaces, scarves, and purses.
- Use equipment properly.
Make sure your child’s car seat is properly installed and NEVER leave a child unattended in a car. A child’s body heats up 5 times faster than adults and the temperature inside the car rises quickly. Prevention tips:
- Place an important item in the backseat to get you into a routine of checking the backseat every day.
- Always check your car before you lock. Thirty percent of deaths in the U.S. occurred when a child climbed into an unlocked vehicle.
- If you see a child alone in a car, dial 9-1-1 immediately and stay at the scene until police arrive.
Your child should always wear a helmet when riding bikes, scooters, skates, skateboards, or similar equipment. Besides the fact that a helmet is the single most effective way to prevent head injury from a bicycle crash, it’s also the law. California law states that all kids under the age of 18 have to wear an appropriate helmet if they are doing any kind of activity on non-motorized wheels. This includes the list of riding equipment noted above. Proper fit is also important:
- The helmet should be snug and comfortable.
- Make sure the straps form a “V” under their ears when buckled.
- You should not be able to move the helmet back to front or side to side.
- The helmet should meet the bicycle helmet safety standards of the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Check the label.
- Never buy a used bike helmet, because it may be too old or have been in an accident.
First-aid Kit Essentials
While we cannot prevent all accidents, we can always be prepared. However, please note that first aid kits are intended for non-emergency injuries. Here is a list of items to include in your first-aid kit:
- Emergency numbers
- Gloves: for handling blood
- Antiseptic Wash: to flush dirt particles out of a wound (soap and water works best)
- Sterile Gauze and Tape – to stop bleeding or cover a wound
- Tweezers: for removing splinters and ticks
- Small Scissors: for cutting bandages
- Measuring cup or oral syringe: for administering liquid medication
- Ice pack: for applying to bruises and sprains (A frozen bag of vegetables works great also).
- Small Flashlight: for checking sore throats and getting a good look at eyes, ears, noses and splinter areas
- Thermometer: to check the temperature
- Tongue depressors: to check sore throats
- Alcohol Wipes: for sterilizing thermometer and other tools
I hope you find these summer safety tips helpful. Please feel free to contact me if you need additional information or resources at 619-427-4411 ext. 1416 or by email at [email protected]
CDA Family Resources Coordinator