Enjoy “Safety Comes First Even In The Summertime,” a guest post by Hillary Spencer.
We are finally here. Summer 2012 is officially underway. The summertime is generally synonymous with family vacations, cookouts, outdoor concerts, road trips, swimming, adventures and loads of fun and excitement. However, if you are a parent, it is vitally important that you remember that safety comes first even in the summertime. That National Safe Kids Campaign has estimated that every year, one out of every four kids will sustain an injury that requires medical attention. The entire world is experiencing record high temperatures and Summer 2012 is all set to be one of the hottest summers on record. Three months of scorching heat means that you must take careful measures to ensure that your children are adequately protected. Let’s take a look at an introductory summertime safety checklist.
It is so important that you ensure that your children wear sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher whenever they are spending time in the sun. You must also make sure they are reapplying at least every two hours. Sunscreens prevent sunburn, reduce skin aging and drastically reduce the risk of skin cancer.
Hydration is Key
In order to minimize your children’s risk of heat-related illnesses, it is critical that you ensure that they are adequately hydrated. You should keep water and sports drinks that feature electrolytes on hand at all times. Heatstroke is very dangerous and symptoms may include dizziness, headaches, trouble breathing, nausea and vomiting. You must ensure that your children are hydrated and that they avoid completing strenuous activities during extreme temperatures. You can have your children engage in outdoor activities during the cooler evening hours. Also, never leave your children alone in the car during the brutal summer months. This is dangerous and places your children in harm’s way.
The summertime means pool time fun for your children. It also means that safety considerations must be accounted for. You should never leave your children alone while they are in the pool, regardless of their ages or swimming abilities. If you cannot be present, make sure that a lifeguard or another trusted adult is there. As far as home pools are concerned, you should install fencing around your pool, at least 5-feet high, all the way around along with self-closing gate. This measure alone can prevent 50 to 90 percent of accidental drowning cases. This makes having adequate fencing around your pool mandatory.
This may surprise you but over 200,000 kids are forced to visit the emergency room every year as a result of injuries sustained in a playground setting. As a parent, you should check playground equipment before letting your kids use it. Loose ropes, for example, may cause strangulation. Playground swings may be dated and in serious need of repair and maintenance. The ground should be covered in a protective surface such as rubber mats or mulch. Also, make sure that your kids wear closed-toed shoes and avoid having them wear clothes loose enough to catch on to playground equipment.
Bicycling is a favorite summertime activity for so many children. However, there can be real dangers involved in this sport. Every year, 300,000 kids must visit the emergency room as a result of bike-related injuries. Serious brain injuries and even death can happen because of these injuries. In order to maximize your children’s safety, it is important that you ensure that they are wearing a helmet at all times while riding. It is important that you select appropriately sized helmets for your children. Additionally, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has set standards for helmets. Be sure to select helmets that feature this safety seal on it.
This introductory summertime safety checklist is an excellent place to get started in terms of promoting your children’s safety this summer. Of course, these are just the basics as far as summertime safety is concerned. As a parent, be prepared to adjust to different challenges and injuries that may arise. Also, this checklist applies to you as well!
Hillary Spencer is a proud wife and mother of four children, web content coordinator for BabyChangingStation.com. With four excited children ready for summertime fun, Hillary knows she must take steps to promote their safety and well-being.