Don't Take A Vacation From Safety
Summertime Reminders from Lucas County Children Services
Summer is a carefree time for children, but it can also be a dangerous time. While children are enjoying the long break from school, parents should take extra precautions to ensure their safety.
Older children – typically those 10-14 years of age – are the most vulnerable to accidental injury during the summer months because they generally have less adult supervision and tend to engage in more risky activities. Before they leave, make sure they tell you where they are going; what they’ll be doing; whom they’ll be with; and when they will be home. (They should contact you if their plans change.)
Younger children – those 5-9 years old – also are at risk because they lack the maturity to make safe decisions. Little kids require constant supervision. Even if you have a fenced-in yard, they should always be within eyesight.
Did You Know?
Each summer, trips to the emergency room nearly triple as more than 3 million
children across the country need medical attention for accidental injuries.
(source: Cox News Service)
Kids generally want to be outside when school is out and the weather is nice. Keep the following in mind:
1) Roads and parking lots are for cars, not kids. Anywhere there is a moving vehicle there is a danger to children.
2) Kids may object to safety helmets because they’re inconvenient or don’t look “cool.” Insist that they wear them anyway when riding a bike, scooter, skateboard or skates.
Did You Know?
The American Academy of Pediatrics reports that 85 percent of bike-related injuries
are preventable if the riders wear helmets.
3) Remember the sunscreen! An SPF of 15 or higher is generally recommended for children. Consult a physician if your child has very light skin or is susceptible to sunburn. Apply even on cloudy days, and reapply every two hours or after swimming.
If children are home alone, they should have all of the necessary emergency contact numbers. (See our guidelines on preparing children to stay home alone.)
Avoid playgrounds which have asphalt or concrete under the equipment. Grass is better, but still does not provide the best cushion from falls. Look for playgrounds which have wood chips or some kind of rubberized material under the equipment. Inspect the playground equipment before allowing your child to use it.
Drowning is one of the leading causes of child deaths each year.
Never leave a child unattended around water. Children are drawn to it, and very young children can drown in just an inch of water. Remember, flotation devices are not substitutes for supervision, even if a child can swim. Have your child take frequent breaks from swimming to diminish fatigue.
Enroll your child in swim lessons. Small children should only swim when an adult is present, preferably a lifeguard who knows CPR. Adults supervising children in or near the water should avoid alcohol.
If you own a pool, make sure it is enclosed with a self-locking, self-closing fence. Do not leave furniture around that children can use to climb over the fence. Keep rescue equipment (such as a life preserver or shepherd's hook) and a telephone near the pool. Plastic or blow-up wading pools should always be drained and stored on their side after each use.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission offers additional safety tips.
Did You Know? Drowning is the second leading cause of injury-related deaths among children. (source: Centers For Disease Control)
Never Leave Children Alone in a Car
The temperature inside a car can get dangerously hot, even in moderate weather. Kids can suffer from heat stroke, causing serious injury or death.
Never leave your child unattended in the car while you go to the grocery store, post office, or on any other errand. It may be convenient for you, but it is dangerous for your child. Simply leaving the air conditioning on doesn't make your car safe. A child could put the car in drive, get caught in a closing power window or be abducted.
- Never leave a child unattended in a car. Not even for a minute.
- Always lock your car and secure the keys so your kids can't get to them.
- Warn your children about playing in and around cars.
- Install a trunk release mechanism so that kids can't get trapped inside the trunk.
- Get the kids out of the car first, and then worry about unloading the groceries or other items from the car. If you're concerned about keeping food cold, then keep a cooler in your trunk for shopping trips.
More than 30 children in the U.S. each year after being left alone in a hot car. Yet,
in a poll of young parents, 1 in 5 still believe it is acceptable to leave kids alone.
(source: National Safe Kids Campaign)
Other Safety at Home
Install window guards to prevent children from falling out of windows. Screens are not adequate protection to keep a child from falling. Do not place beds or cribs in front of open windows.
Use caution when grilling or cooking outdoors. Small children can be burned by a hot grill.
For more information, the American Academy of Pediatrics offers some helpful tips.