Safety really matters. When it comes to young children, there are measures we can take as parents to create an environment that is safe for our children to grow, explore and learn in.
Here is a list of common summer safety hazards and tips for creating many happy summer days:
Water = Be Alert!
- Drowning can happen in 18-30 seconds.
- 67% of all drownings occur in a backyard kiddie pool, pool, spa or water feature. Use covers, gates, close doors.
- Children ages 1 to 4 have the highest drowning rates – parents often believe children are safely inside when it happens.
- Drowning most often occurs quickly and quietly, children do NOT scream, yell or splash for help.
- Supervise young children at arms length when playing with water.
- Children get fussy and cranky in the heat – please don’t ignore crying.
- Respond promptly to requests for going into the shade or having a drink of water.
- Respond promptly if a child complains of headache, dizziness or seems unusually tired.
- Drinking plenty of water is the most effective way to keep dehydration at bay.
- Use wide-brimmed hats, sunglasses, and cotton clothes that will keep your child’s skin covered to reduce exposure to the sun’s damaging rays and heat.
Car = Hot Zone!
- The car is like an OVEN reaching 109 F/42 C in under 10 minutes on a summer day.
- Do not leave children alone in the car, not even for a quick errand.
- Don’t forget a sleeping child: Place an important item like a handbag, phone or briefcase on the back seat.
- Burn Hazard!! Seat belts, car seat buckles and especially the plastic coating on straps can burn skin.
- Check it before you Click it: If buckles are too hot, try applying an ice pack or cold cloth to cool it down.
- Dress children in a way that will offer a barrier between buckles and skin especially shoulders and legs.
- Placing sun shades on car windows is wise, especially to protect babies from direct sun exposure.
Bugs are such a bother!
- Insect spray can be very poisonous – keep it out of reach of children at all times.
- Ticks can pose a health risk, it’s important to remove it properly. Removing it incorrectly is worse than waiting for it to be done properly so don’t hesitate to contact a health care provider for guidance.
- Investigate natural alternatives for bug control whenever possible such as lemon eucalyptus. Many bug sprays have toxic substances.
- Bee stings: Remove stinger, ice it, elevate it. Swelling or hives call emergency services right away! Learn more about Bee Sting First Aid
- Agree on a summer safety plan for the whole family that includes how you can be reached and what to do in an emergency.
- Check over your first aid kit in your home, place one in your car, and try to bring one with you on outings.
- Keep first aid kits someplace where all adults/caregivers can reach them, but the children can’t.
- Make a list of emergency phone numbers and post them by the phone and in your car.
Just Three More
- Don’t forget Helmets: it can reduce head injury and prevent death from a bicycle crash.
- Clean Hands & Cooking Areas: Food borne illnesses increase in the summer because bacteria grow faster in warmer temperatures.
- Hug often & laugh a lot: connection helps children feel well and choose well.
Peace & Be Well,