Kids can get into all sorts of trouble if left to their own devices, so it’s up to their parents or guardians to take steps to keep them as safe as possible. The following are some likely places children will be during the summer and safety tips everyone should know.
- Pools: Nothing says summertime fun like hanging out at the pool, whether it’s in your own backyard, the neighborhood pool or at a friend’s. Steps parents can take to ensure their child’s safety while swimming are:
- Swim lessons: While knowing how to swim won’t always prevent water accidents, this can go a long way toward staying safe in the water. Even very young children can be taught to float. Parents should still supervise their kids in pools, however, and not rely solely on items like water wings to keep their kids safe.
- The buddy system: No one should swim alone, even accomplished swimmers. You never know when a cramp could hit and cripple you in the water. Especially for children, swimming with a buddy can prevent drownings; if one person is in trouble, a friend can go or call for help.
- No horseplay: Running or rough housing around a slippery pool deck can lead to accidents. Make sure your children know that running isn’t acceptable.
- Beaches: For families who want to spend a day or week of vacation at the beach, the same pool safety tips apply, but you’ll also want to make sure your children know:
- To wear a life jacket: If you boat or Jet Ski, wearing life jackets is important. Set a good example by wearing one yourself.
- Home: If both parents work outside of the home and children are old enough to prepare their own meals or surf the Internet, some areas of concern may be:
- Strangers: Children should be taught never to answer the door if their parents aren’t home. Also, if they answer the phone and don’t know who’s on the other end of the line, they shouldn’t say that their parents aren’t home. Saying “they’re not available to come to the phone” is better practice.
- The stove: Only children who are old enough to capably use the stove should be allowed to cook. Even so, because accidents can happen to anyone, they should know where the fire extinguisher is located in the event of a fire and an escape route.
- Internet safety: Many children will spend a lot of their summer vacation online, chatting with friends or playing games. Unfortunately, child predators use the Internet as well, trying to lure children. Make sure your child knows not to divulge any personal information, such as name, address, phone number, city, etc. Also, using a firewall or other computer programs to prevent a child from accessing pornography is a good idea.
- Malls: When children are old enough to walk the malls without their parents, they often relish this independence and want to hang out with their friends. It’s smart practice to discuss mall dangers such as: Strangers: Child predators sometimes lurk around malls, knowing that young kids are susceptible to ruses such as being on television or helping to find a lost pet or friend. Parents should caution their children to avoid anyone they don’t know and never to go off with anyone, whether they know them or not, without their parents’ permission.
- Vacations: If your family goes anywhere during the summer, having a plan in case someone is lost is smart practice. Some parents have a family password, so that if a child wanders off and someone claims to know where the child’s family is and will take him to them, the person has to know the password. Still, it’s better to tell the child to look for a gift shop or information desk and wait there. Discussing all of this beforehand-family passwords and where to go if they get lost-will go a long way toward preventing disasters.
via Children’s Summer Safety Tips.
It’s a beautiful day for a bike ride. You fill your water bottle, lace up your shoes and head out. The thought of a head injury doesn’t even cross your mind. Still, it’s a risk you’re taking if you don’t wear a bicycle helmet.
Why wear a bicycle helmet?
It’s simple. If you fall from your bike, the bicycle helmet takes the force of the blow — instead of your head. Although collisions with cars or other vehicles are likely to be the most serious, even a low-speed fall on a bicycle path can be dangerous. For kids and adults alike, wearing a bicycle helmet is the most effective way to prevent a life-threatening head injury.
via Bicycle helmet do’s and don’ts – MayoClinic.com.
Button batteries are dangerous to kids, especially toddlers, and cause severe injuries when swallowed.
Did You Know?
- The coin-sized batteries children swallow come from many devices, most often mini remote controls. Other places you may find them are: singing greeting cards, watches, bathroom scales and flameless candles.
- It takes as little as two hours to cause severe burns once a coin-sized button battery has been swallowed.
- Once burning begins, damage can continue even after the battery is removed.
- Kids can still breathe with the button battery in their throats. It may not be obvious at first that something is wrong.
- Repairing the damage is painful and can require multiple surgeries.
- The batteries can become lodged in the throat, burning the esophagus.
- Each year, about 3,500 button battery swallowing cases are reported to U.S. poison control centers.
via Button Battery Safety.
To prevent burns from fires:
- Be alarmed. Install and maintain smoke alarms in your home—on every floor and near all rooms family members sleep in. Test your smoke alarms once a month to make sure they are working properly.
- Have an escape plan. Create and practice a family fire escape plan, and involve kids in the planning. Make sure everyone knows at least two ways out of every room and identify a central meeting place outside.
- Cook with care. Use safe cooking practices, such as never leaving food unattended on the stove. Also, supervise or restrict children’s use of stoves, ovens, or microwaves.
To prevent burns from scalding water:
- Check water heater temperature. Set your water heater’s thermostat to 120 degrees Fahrenheit or lower. Infants who aren’t walking yet can’t get out of water that may be too hot, and maintaining a constant thermostat setting can help control the water temperature throughout your home—preventing it from getting too high.
via CDC – Injury – Safe Child – Burns.
The internet has changed our lives…we use it all the time, and our kids do, too. I don’t even own a hard copy phone book or map anymore. Our kids use it for their homework, entertainment, and I like that they can find how-to videos on just about anything. But about those videos…The downside of video sharing sites most notably, YouTube and sometimes the Internet in general, is that they give kids ideas about not-so-smart stunts that they may end up trying on their own. They’re usually called “challenges.” Some of them are just… well, disgusting, like trying to drink a gallon of milk in an hour you can probably guess what happens. But some of them are truly dangerous and deadly.
via Parents, Watch Out for YouTube “Challenges”.
Vehicle crashes remain the number one killer of children ages 3-14 in the United States.
Child safety seats, booster seats and seat belts are the best protection.
According to the CDC, placing children in age- and size-appropriate car seats and booster seats reduces serious and fatal injuries by more than half. But most are being used incorrectly in some way, putting children at risk.
via Child Passenger Safety, Child Safety Seat Booster Seat Guidelines.
We all want to keep our children safe and secure and help them live to their full potential. Knowing how to prevent leading causes of child injury, like falls, is a step toward this goal.
Thankfully, many falls can be prevented, and parents and caregivers can play a key role in protecting children.
- Play safely. Falls on the playground are a common cause of injury. Check to make sure that the surfaces under playground equipment are safe, soft, and well- maintained (such as wood chips or sand, not dirt or grass).
- Make your home safer. Use home safety devices, such as guards on windows that are above ground level, stair gates, and guard rails. These devices can help keep a busy, active child from taking a dangerous tumble.
- Keep sports safe. Make sure your child wears protective gear during sports and recreation. For example, when in-line skating, use wrist guards, knee and elbow pads, and a helmet.
- Supervision is key. Supervise young children at all times around fall hazards, such as stairs and playground equipment, whether you’re at home or out to play.
via CDC – Injury – Safe Child – Falls.
There are several ways to safeguard children. Undoubtedly the most effective is to educate them from an early age about the risks they may encounter when online … what these risks are, how to spot them and what action to take. There are a number of online age-appropriate educational resources available to parents/guardians and teachers, and children themselves, covering every aspect of online safety for children.
You should also take the following measures. Remember that these factors will change as children grow up and should be reconsidered regularly.
- Set ground rules about use of the internet, email and texts. They should learn to take responsibility for their own actions and develop their own judgement.
- Make children aware that online contacts may not be who they say they are.
- Children must keep personal details private.
- Ensure that they use a family email address when filling in online forms.
- They must never meet unsupervised with anyone they have contacted via the internet.
- Get children to report concerns about conversations, messages and behaviours to you or another known and trusted adult. Encourage them to share their internet experience with you and make it a shared family experience.
- Get children to report bullying online, by text or phone immediately to you.
- Use the parental control settings on your browser, search engine and internet security package.
- Alternatively, consider buying specialist parental control software.
- Block pop-ups and spam emails.
- Consider enabling online access from only a family computer located in a shared room.
- Always sit with younger children when they are online.
- Consider choosing a child-friendly home page in your browser settings.
- Learn the language of chatrooms and log on yourself so you know how it works.
- Consider setting up a family e-mail account which can be used specifically to register for websites, competitions etc.
- Tell your children not to illegally copy copyrighted content such as music, films or software.
- Ensure that your children do not have access to your logon account so that they cannot access, alter or delete your files.
- Take care to limit children’s access to credit card and bank information. Similarly, ensure they cannot gain access to an online shop or other website where your details are stored.
- Set limits on when they can use the computer, and for how long.
Remember that a lot of the above advice also applies to your children’s use of mobile phones, tablets and games consoles.
via Safeguarding Children | Get Safe Online.
Many infants and children die each year from choking. These deaths can be prevented if parents and care givers watch their children more closely and keep dangerous toys, foods, and household items out of their reach.
Safety Tips: Tips for Preventing Choking
If you are the parent or care giver of an infant or child under 4 years old, follow these tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Red Cross, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to reduce the chances of choking.
- Insist that your children eat at the table, or at least sitting down. Watch young children while they eat. Encourage them to eat slowly and chew their food well.
- Cut up foods that are firm and round and can get stuck in your child’s airway, such as
- hotdogs -always cut hotdogs length-wise and then into small pieces
- grapes-cut them into quarters
- raw vegetables-cut them into small strips or pieces that are not round
Other foods that can pose a choking hazard include:
- hard or sticky candy, like whole peppermints or caramels
- nuts and seeds (don’t give peanuts to children under age 7)
- spoonfuls of peanut butter
via Preventing Choking Among Infants and Young Children.
More than 9 million children between birth and age 19 are seen for injuries each year in U.S. emergency departments, and injuries are the leading cause of death among children in this age group.
The top causes of child injury and the steps you can take to prevent them.
- Install and maintain smoke alarms in your home.
- Develop and practice a family fire escape plan.
- Set your water heater’s thermostat to 120 degrees Fahrenheit or lower.
- Use safe cooking practices, such as never leaving food unattended on the stove.
- Install a four-sided isolation fence, with self-closing and self-latching gates, around backyard swimming pools.
- Learn cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and get recertified every two years.
- Supervise young children at all times around bathtubs, swimming pools, and natural bodies of water.
- Use playground equipment that is properly designed and maintained, and that has a soft landing surface material below.
- Use home safety devices, such as guards on windows that are located above ground-level, stair gates, and guard rails.
- Supervise young children at all times around fall hazards, like stairs and playground equipment.
- Store medicines and other toxic products such as cleaning solutions in locked or childproof cabinets.
- Put the poison control number, 1-800-222-1222, on or near every home telephone.
- Dispose of unused, unneeded, or expired prescription drugs.
via CDC Features – Prevent Child Injuries during Home Safety Month.