At long last, summer break has arrived, and with it plenty of summer fun! Here are a few things you can do to help keep your kids and the kids in your neighborhood safe until August.
- No summer is complete without a trip to the pool. Drowning is the leading cause of injury death for kids ages 1 to 4; make sure your child stays safe while swimming by providing swim lessons and constant supervision by a responsible adult with CPR training. Installing four-sided fences around home pools is also an important step to keep curious kids away from the water.
- Headed out on the boat? Make sure everyone has a properly fitted life jacket to wear while on the water.
- Beat the heat — children under age 4 are at the greatest risk of heat-related illness. Limit outdoor time, especially during the hottest part of the day, and never leave children or pets in a parked car. Dress children in loose, lightweight clothing and make sure they drink plenty of water. Seek immediate medical attention if anyone in your household is displaying symptoms of heat-related illness.
- Prevent serious sunburns and risk of skin cancer by covering up and wearing a sunscreen with at least SPF 15 and UVA/UVB protection every time you go outside.
- Keep kids busy with an age-appropriate schedule. Check with local schools, libraries and community centers to find low-cost, supervised options in your area.
- With kids out of school more children will be out in your neighborhood throughout the day, so watch out for children in the streets. Make sure neighborhood playgrounds are well-maintained, and report any safety concerns to your HOA or the city.
- Use an effective insect repellant and check for ticks after playing outdoors to prevent bites and diseases.
- Have an older child who’ll be staying home alone? Set ground rules about things like guests, answering the door or phone, kitchen use, leaving the house, etc., and follow through on enforcement. Check in throughout the day. Make sure your children know exactly what steps to take when faced with an emergency – a babysitting safety course is a great option for covering various scenarios that could arise.