Sun, picnics, outdoor play. . .summer should be a time of fun for the entire family. You can keep it that way by planning ahead to ensure the safety of your loved ones. Most injuries can be prevented or minimized if people take basic safety precautions. Experts suggest that emergency rooms would see about 1/3 less injuries if families followed a few safety guidelines.
What are the most common summertime injuries to children?
The most common injuries are minor cuts, bruises or scrapes from bicycle, roller blade or skateboard accidents. Active kids in team sports may also end up with many injuries. To protect your child from major injuries, make she he/she always wears proper equipment, such as helmets, kneepads and appropriate clothing.
What are the leading causes of accidental deaths of children?
Water is a dangerous place for children. According to SafeKids —drowning is one of the leading causes of death in children under 4 years of age and diving into shallow water is the leading cause of death for older children. Children are more likely to have boating and water skiing accidents if the adults are drinking.
Remember these important water safety tips:
Never leave children unattended, check water depth, avoid ponds or gravel pits, don’t drink alcohol while supervising children, learn CPR, keep a cell phone near by and enroll your child in swimming lessons.
What about bike riding?
Seven out of ten bike injuries that occur while bike riding are the child’s fault. Most accidents happen at intersections. Keep in mind that a bike is a vehicle, not a toy. Teach your child the rules before you teach him to ride. A good safety tip is to make sure the bike is the right size for the child.
What about helmets and street riding?
Insist that your child wears a helmet, or not ride at all. The risk is too great. Don’t let a child under 8 years old ride in the street, not even on a cul-de-sac. His or her brain has not developed enough to react appropriately. MAKE THIS A FIRM RULE! Continue to quiz your child on defensive driving rules – the most effective learning comes from repetition.
Overall, what are the most important things for parents to keep in mind to keep their children safe?
Parents should always supervise their children at play. In case an injury does occur, you will be there to avoid further damage. Parents are a role model for their children. Wear your bicycle helmet, lifejacket and sunscreen. Safety equipment isn’t just for kids.
For more information on summer safety, call 553-3000 or toll-free (877) 553-3001 or email email@example.com
Reprinted with the permission of the Heartland Family Service. © 2008 Heartland Family Service
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