Summer Safety for Your Kids
Every year about this time, summer safety tips are in the news. But sadly, more than 200,000 kids are treated in emergency rooms each year, and of the 3,500 accidental drowning deaths, more than half are children.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides a practical guide to keeping kids safe and happy during the hot, action-packed summer months:
Teach kids to swim – Some experts say kids should learn to swim by the age of four. But aquatics programs for infants and toddlers are widely available. No matter when you begin formal swimming lessons for your child:
- Be sure your pool is fenced
- Learn CPR
- Never leave a child of any age unsupervised at the pool
Beat the heat – Children are at greatest risk for heat-related illness. Cover them up, apply sunscreen, and be wary of sunburn, which increases the risk of skin cancer in later life. Also:
- Never leave children in a parked car, even if the windows are cracked
- Schedule strenuous outdoor activities in morning and evening hours
- Keep kids cool with showers or baths on very hot days
- Seek immediate medical care if a child has symptoms of heat-related illness, such as headache, nausea, high body temperature or hot, damp skin
Keep insects at bay - Insects are more than a nuisance. They can also carry disease. Mind the following:
- Use insect repellent when playing outdoors
- Make your yard a tick-free zone by keeping lawns mowed and free of tall grasses, brush, and litter
- Apply pesticides outdoors as necessary
Prevent injuries – Play-related falls and other injuries can double in the summer months.
- Make sure playground equipment is safe and well maintained
- Supervise young children at all times in playgrounds and around other fall-hazard areas
- Be wary of concussion or serious head injury after a bad fall or blow to the head. Seek medical attention right away if your child seems confused or has suffered unconsciousness. Seek medical attention within a day if your child exhibits signs of imbalance, persistent headache, vomiting, confusion or memory loss.