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Safety For Children
Summer is a time for school classrooms and hallways to empty and the awaited anticipation of our childrens' fun and play time.
Yet, emergency rooms across the country call summertime 'the trauma season for kids.' From the heat to pools to bike riding, parents need to be on alert.
memories are filled with summertime fun which means
trips to the beach, ice cream, and rides at the amusement
park. While your family enjoys the summer, emergency
room doctors don't enjoy what they refer to as the trauma
summer children ages 14 and under will be rushed to
emergency rooms nearly 3 million times for serious injuries
resulting from motor vehicle crashes, drownings, bike
crashes, pedestrian incidents, falls and other hazards.
More than 2,500 children will die.
rise and nearly half (40 percent) of all unintentional
injury-related deaths occur during the summer months
(May to August) because children are supervised less,
have more free time and are involved in more outdoor
activities. While you relax this summer, summer is not
the time to relax about safety. Close supervision, proper
protective gear, and other simple prevention steps will
help keep your child safe.
is preventable. Keeping your children out of the emergency
room takes thought and preparation.
and foremost ... please remember to drive safely and
use proper child seating and safety belts. It could
save your child's life, yours and protect your family.
Please read more about car safety below.
can kill. Children are smaller than adults and they
dehydrate quicker. When kids play, they sweat. They
should not be out in the heat for more than 30 minutes.
Bring them inside for at least 15 minutes for water
Insect Bites can be dangerous. Bugs also enjoy
the outdoors. These creepy crawly, biting, stinging
pests don't have to be such a pain if parents discourage
children from getting excited and moving rapidly when
they see insects - movement encourages insects to bite.
Keep sugary foods and trash cans away from outside play
and eating areas and avoid sweets during picnics - unless
water is accessible to rinse off sticky areas after
Sun Tips to Prevent Skin Cancer in Later Life.
There are many steps you can take to reduce your child’s
exposure to the sun's rays. Sunscreens, wide brimmed
hats, protective clothing and sun avoidance (between
the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.) are important for maximum
sun protection. Sunscreens should be viewed as a back-up
to primary means of sun protection such as shirts, hats
and sun avoidance. Always reapply sunscreen - even if
it's waterproof - immediately after coming out of the
Bike Riding without helmets is an accident
waiting to happen. Wearing a cast on an arm or leg can
be uncomfortable in the summer, but you cannot put a
cast on a child’s brain. Brain injury is the most
serious of injuries. Children must wear helmets every
time they’re on their bikes- no matter what.
Water Safety is critical. According to the
US Consumer Product Safety Commission, an estimated
260 children under five years of age drown each year
in residential swimming pools and spas. It is estimated
that another 3,000 children under age five are treated
in hospital emergency rooms following submersion accidents
each year. Some of these submersion accidents result
in permanent brain damage. Nationally, drowning is the
fourth leading cause of death to children under five.
ensure that your children are safe, never leave them
unsupervised around water. Teach your child to swim,
but remember that younger children shouldn't be left
unsupervised around water even if they know how to swim.
It is recommended that children under age four not be
given formal swimming lessons, especially as a primary
means to prevent the risk of drowning.
Always wear a safety approved life jacket when on
a lake, river or ocean while boating, water skiing,
jet skiing or tubing.
Warn your children about playing in canals or other
fast moving water.
Do not let your child play around any water (lake,
pool, ocean, etc.) without adult supervision (even
if he is a good swimmer).
Don't allow running or rough play around the water.
Childproof your swimming pool with a fence around
your backyard and a fence (at least 4 feet high) around
the pool, with a self-closing, self-latching gate.
Also consider having a phone poolside and learning
CPR in case of emergencies.
Safety is another place where children
should never go unsupervised at all times. Older
kids can use the buddy system. If your child is
a weak swimmer use a floatation device. Be sure
to read and follow ALL park rules. Your child
should always wear sunscreen. Do not be fooled
by waterproof sunscreen. Reapply it after swimming.
Give them plenty of water to drink to avoid heat
related illnesses and know their physical limits.
Observe rides before you let them ride them. Do
not allow children to dive. Always make sure you
know the depth of the water they wade in. If you
have a toddler touching them at all times to check
body temperatures. Most minor injuries at waterparks
are caused by slips and falls - don't run. It’s
a good idea for parents to know CPR, First Aid
and where telephones are located.
Outdoors – take caution. Never bring
charcoal grills indoors. Burning charcoal produces deadly
carbon monoxide. When cooking outdoors with a gas grill,
check the air tubes that lead into the burner for any
blockage from insects, spiders, or food grease. Check
grill hoses for cracking, brittleness, holes, and leaks.
Make sure there are no sharp bends in the hose or tubing.
If you ever detect a leak, immediately turn off the
gas at the tank and don't attempt to light the grill
until the leak is fixed. Newer grills and propane tanks
have improved safety devices to prevent gas leaks.
Playgrounds – make sure your home playground
is safe. Falls cause 60 percent of playground injuries,
so having a safe surface is critical. Concrete, asphalt
or packed dirt surfaces are too hard. Use at least 9
inches of wood. chips or mulch.
- use softer-than standard baseballs, safety-release
bases and batting helmets with face guards to reduce
baseball-related injuries to children.
you are a soccer parent, beware that
movable soccer goals can fall over and kill children.
Make sure the goal is anchored securely at all times
and never allow anyone to climb on the net or goal framework
or hang from the cross bar. Remove nets when the goals
are not in use.
prevent serious injuries while using a trampoline,
allow only one person on at a time, and do not allow
somersaults. Use a shock-absorbing pad that completely
covers the springs and place the trampoline away from
structures and other play areas. Kids under 6-years-old
should not use full-size trampolines.
allow a game of hide-n-seek to become
deadly. There have been nationwide reports of numerous
suffocation deaths involving children who crawled inside
old cedar chests, latch-type freezers and refrigerators,
iceboxes in campers, clothes dryers and picnic coolers.
Childproof old appliances, warn children not to play
summer plans include camping and you
want heat inside your tent or camper, use one of the
new portable heaters that are equipped with an oxygen
depletion sensor (ODS). If oxygen levels start to fall
inside your tent or camper, the ODS automatically shuts
down the heater before it can produce deadly levels
of carbon monoxide (CO). Do not attempt to use alternative
sources of heat or power to warm a tent or camper. Traditional
camping heaters, charcoal grills, camping lanterns,
and gas generators also can cause CO poisoning.
Home - Install window guards
to prevent children from falling out of open windows.
Guards should be installed in children's bedrooms, parents'
bedrooms, and other rooms where young children spend
time. Or, install window stops that permit windows to
open no more than 4 inches. Whenever possible, open
windows from the top - not the bottom. Also, keep furniture
away from windows to discourage children from climbing
Summer also means yard work. When mowing,
keep small children out of the yard, and turn the mower
off if children enter the area. If the lawn slopes,
mow across the slope with the walk-behind rotary mower,
never up and down. With a riding mower, drive up and
down the slope, not across it. Never carry children
on a riding mower.
Car - We all know the sadness and disbelief we feel
when we read local headlines about a child dying after
being left unattended in a hot car.
Since 1998, over 230 children have died after being left in a hot car (sometimes on relatively mild days with only 70 degree temperatures) most of them ages 3 and younger. They died from heat stroke after being trapped in the car. In the summer of 1999, an average of one child every four days died after being trapped in a car parked in the searing heat.
parents mistakenly think they can leave a child in a
vehicle while running a "quick" errand. Yet,
a delay of just a few minutes can lead to tragedy. Heat
is much more dangerous to children than it is to adults.
When left in a hot vehicle, a young child’s core
body temperature can increase three to five times faster
than that of an adult causing permanent injury or death.
Children should never be left alone inside of your car,
even for a few minutes.
school's out for summer, kids are everywhere and parents
should be too. Even though your children may be older,
make sure you're on watch, so that you won't have to
take a trip to the emergency room. Enjoy the summer
with your children - SAFELY!
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