As we wave goodbye to another school year, we say hello to summer.
Today marks the first official day of summer with a special event that hasn’t occurred for nearly 70 years. Tonight there will be a rare summer solstice full moon.
What a unique opportunity to round up the kids and do a little stargazing and moon watching this evening!
Getting into the swing of summer often includes fun activities like swimming, boating, biking, camping and other outdoor activities, but it also requires more attentiveness from parents and caregivers.
The more laissez-faire days give kids a chance to relax from school routines, but can also put them at a higher risk for accidents and injuries. It’s always a good idea to brush up on your summer safety tips.
Summer means high temperatures. In certain parts of the country, temperatures can be well over a hundred degrees. That’s not likely to keep kids indoors all day, and they really shouldn’t be if they are generally healthy.
Outdoor play is good for kids, but you may need to get them out in the mornings and later in the evening when temps aren’t quite so high. Before sending kids out to play, make sure they always wear shoes to protect feet from cuts, scrapes and splinters, and wear sunscreen to protect from sunburns and harmful ultra-violet rays.
While playing poolside may be a blast, Safe Kids Worldwide reports that drowning is the leading cause of injury-related death for children ages 1 to 4 and it is the third leading cause of injury-related death among children 19 and under. Prevent accidents and injuries with these tips to ensure your family’s safety:
• Teach children to never swim alone or go near water without an adult present.
• Always jump in feet first to check the depth before diving into any body of water.
• Never dive in the shallow end of the pool or into above ground pools.
• Never leave a child unattended in or near water.
• Make sure your child knows how to swim, starting at a young age.
• Teach children to stay away from drains.
• Make sure any pool or spa you’re child gets in has a safety compliant drain cover. Powerful suction from a pool or spa drain can even trap an adult.
• Know how to perform CPR on a child and an adult. Often, bystanders are the first to aid a drowning victim, so learning CPR can help save a life. CPR classes are available through many hospitals, community centers, or by contacting the American Red Cross.
• Keep a cell phone nearby in case of an emergency, but don’t let it distract you from overseeing the children.
• Know your child’s limits. Watch out for the "too's" — too tired, too cold, too far from safety, too much sun, too much hard activity.
• Watch for kids diving above other kids. Make sure the area is clear when a child dives from a diving board.
• Keep an eye on the weather. Make sure kids are out of the pool or lake if bad weather approaches. Take the fun inside till it’s clear.
• Make sure that the water is clean – polluted water can make a child very sick.
Boating and water skiing safety:
Boating and water skiing can be great fun, but requires a lot of supervision.
According to the U.S. Coast Guard, nearly 71 percent of all boating fatalities are caused from drowning, 85 percent of which are a result of not wearing a life jacket. Here is what you can do to enjoy the water safely:
• Always have children wear a Coast Guard-approved, properly fitted life jacket while on a boat, around an open body of water or when participating in water sports.
• Educate yourself. According to the U.S. Coast Guard, 86 percent of boating accident deaths involve boaters who have not completed a safety course.
• Always check water conditions and forecasts before going out on the water.
• Never consume alcohol when out on the waters with your child. Impaired judgment is often the cause of the most critical accidents and injuries.
Lawn Mower safety:
While not considered a typical summer “fun” activity, many severe accidents occur to small children riding on lawn mowers with a parent or grandparent.
According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, lawn mower injuries account for a large percentage of accidental amputations. The Academy cautions that the speed of a typical lawn mower blade can send dirt and bacteria deep into a wound, creating a high risk for severe infection. To avoid accidents involving lawn mowers, keep these tips in mind:
• Teach children to never play on or around a lawn mower, even when it is not in use. They should never be permitted to walk beside, in front of or behind a moving mower.
• Children under 6 years of age should be kept inside the home while mowing.
• Children should be at least 12 years of age before operating a push lawn mower and at least 16 years of age before operating a riding lawn mower.
Fire and fireworks safety:
Summer often involves grilling, campfires and fireworks. All of these activities are standard fair for a lot of families. A few simple safety tips can help prevent injuries.
• Teach kids to never play with matches, gasoline, lighter fluid or lighters. Make a habit of placing these items up and away from young children.
• Do not leave children unattended near grills, campfires, fire pits or bonfires. Always have a bucket of water or fire extinguisher nearby whenever there is a burning fire.
• Take your child to a doctor or hospital immediately if he or she is injured in a fire or by fireworks.
• Never let children ignite fireworks or play alone with them. Fireworks that are often thought to be safe, such as sparklers, can reach temperatures above 1000 degrees Fahrenheit, and can burn users and bystanders.
• Attend community fireworks displays run by professionals rather than using fireworks at home.
These tips cover a few of the most common summer activities. We’ll continue with more summer safety tips in future articles. Welcome to summer fun and don’t forget to catch that awesome full moon tonight!
Story sources: http://dbqkidsguide.com/get-into-the-swing-of-summer-safety/