Summer is a time to get outside and have some fun!

Learn how to keep your family safe and how to prevent harm to your child during summertime activities. The most common summertime child injuries result from falls, bicycle accidents, burns from campfires and fireworks, motor vehicles, and water hazards at pools, beaches and lakes. Here are some important tips to keep you and your family safe. The single most important must is adult supervision no matter what the activity.

Water Safety

  • Put up a fence that is at least 4 feet high and surrounds all sides of the pool or spa. The fence should have a gate with a lock that closes and latches by itself.
  • Use door, gate and pool alarms
  • Teach children not to play or swim near pool or spa drain
  • Use approved safety drain covers and back up devices.

LOOK

  • Always watch children when they are in or near water
  • When you are watching children, don’t be distracted by phone calls, text messages, reading or talking to others.
  • Watch children even if they know how to swim.
  • Children who can’t swim or can’t swim well should be within your reach.
  • Keep a phone near you – use it only to call for help if there is an emergency.
  • If a child is missing, check the water first.

LEARN

  • Both adults and children should learn how to swim.
  • Learn when to use U.S. Coast Guard approved life jackets
  • Learn how to use rescue equipment.
  • Learn CPR.

Falls

Playgrounds

Many injuries from falls come from children hurting themselves or others on playgrounds. Here are some tips for playground safety:

  • Make sure playground equipment is age appropriate
  • Make sure the surface around playground equipment is made of wood chips, mulch, sand, pea gravel, or poured in place rubber mats.
  • Materials made with concrete, asphalt, grass, black top, packed dirt, or rocks are NOT safe for playground surfaces

Set rules for safe behavior at playgrounds

  • Play responsibly; no pushing or roughhousing while on the equipment
  • Take turns; one person at a time on a swing, slide, monkey bars
  • Remind children to sit down while swinging and slow down before getting off.
  • Avoid walking near someone who is swinging or keep a safe distance from others who are swinging.
  • Climbing up the front of a slide is not acceptable.
  • Look before you jump or slide; make sure no one is below you.

Windows

Falls from windows is another way for children to get hurt. Although windows provide a secondary means of escape from a burning home, they also pose risks to children. These following tips will help keep your children safe around your home.

  • Do not allow children to play near windows, balconies, or decks
  • Keep furniture and other climbing hazards away from windows, balconies, and decks.
  • Window screens are not a safety device; screens keep bugs out, not children in.
  • Keep windows closed and locked when children are around
  • Install and maintain window and door safety devices
  • Make sure landscaping underneath windows will help lessen the impact of a fall if one does occur.
  • Do not underestimate children’s mobility and how quickly they can learn.

Bicycle Safety

Summer is the perfect time to get outdoors and ride a bike. It’s fun, great exercise, and good for the environment. Here are a few tips to keep you as safe as possible.

  • Wear a helmet and make sure it fits correctly for you and your child.
  • Use appropriate helmets for different activities
  • Proper equipment and maintenance are important.
  • Actively supervise and teach your children to stay alert at all times.
  • Model and teach good behavior and rules of the road.
  • Be bright, use lights. Use reflectors, headlights, and bright clothes to make you seen.

Burns/Overheating

Common causes of burns that occur in the summertime are from sunburn, outdoor cooking, campfires, and overheating in motor vehicles.

Sunburns

Everyone, regardless of their skin pigmentation, should avoid long sun exposure, even with sunscreen, and especially during the middle of the day. Sunscreen should be reapplied at the intervals recommended on the package, and always after swimming or perspiring heavily during exercise.

CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) recommends easy options for protection from UV radiation—

  • Seek shade, especially during midday hours.
  • Wear clothing to protect exposed skin
  • Wear a hat with a wide brim to shade the face, head, ears, and neck.
  • Wear sunglasses that wrap around and block as close to 100% of both UVA and UVB rays as possible.
  • Use sunscreen with sun protective factor (SPF) 15 or higher and has both UVA and UVB protection
  • Avoid indoor tanning.

Outdoor Cooking

With nicer weather, outdoor cooking is more likely to be an option for cooking meals. Although a fun way to prepare food, make sure safety is a priority. Keep children away from any outdoor cooking fire, no matter what the cooking method, whether it’s a charcoal or propane grill, a raised fireplace or a ground-level campfire.

Pay close attention to these simple rules. It can be easy to overlook them when entertaining guests at a social gathering.

  • To help keep children away, establish and mark a “kid-free” zone extending 10 feet from the fire on all sides. Make sure children and their main caretakers are well aware of this zone before starting to cook.
  • Make sure charcoal lighters are kept out of reach of children.
  • Never add charcoal starter fluid to hot or warm coals
  • Don’t ever use gasoline to start or strengthen a charcoal grill fire.

Campfire Safety Rules

  • Use designated fire pits
  • Clear ground around the fire
  • Build fire downwind.
  • Never use flammable liquid.
  • Never leave fire unattended.
  • Keep water or fire extinguisher nearby.
  • Douse with water when finished.

Motor Vehicle Heat Safety

A child left alone in a car can overheat five times faster than an adult. Just ask the hundreds of parents whose children died alone in cars how quickly it can happen. It doesn’t have to be very hot, either. Within 10 minutes, the interior temperature can rise 20 degrees, even with the window “cracked.” Whether your child is sleeping or you’re “just going to be a minute,” don’t risk their lives. Unlike a lot of parental worries, heat stroke is 100% avoidable.

Important tips to prevent heat stroke and burns in cars:

  • Never leave a child or pet alone in a vehicle.
  • Keep car doors locked.
  • Put sun shades in front and back windows
  • Beware of hot surfaces (seat belt buckles, vinyl seats).
  • Put something in the back seat of your vehicle that requires you to open the back door every time you park – cell phone, employee badge, handbag, etc., so that you don’t forget that you have a child in the back seat