OSEA Safety Blog

How to Keep Your Kids Safe This Summer

Monday, July 23, 2018 Michele Pratt

The joys of summer – staying up late, sounds of kids playing outside, swimming at the local pool, picnics in the park, riding bikes. With these joys comes trepidation and worry about your child’s safety.

Here are some tips to ensure a fun and safe summer:

  • Always apply sunscreen. Experts say you should apply sunscreen at least 30 minutes prior to going outdoors and re-apply every two hours or more if swimming or sweating. In choosing sunscreen ensure that it protects against both UVA and UVB rays. Remember, you can still obtain sun damage on a cloudy day.
  • Apply insect repellent when enjoying the outdoors – depending on the activity, either apply to your child, use repellent you can spray, or use an insect trap.
  • If your area is populated with ticks, you can help in preventing bites by doing the following: mow the lawn frequently, clear tall grasses and brush around your home and at the outer barrier of your lawn, stack wood neatly and in a dry area, and ensure your area is free of debris where ticks might hide.
  • Avoid dehydration by reminding kids to take exercise/water breaks every 15 to 20 minutes.
  • While each State has different laws regarding helmets it’s best to error on the side of caution. Statistics show that 74% of fatal crashes involved a head injury; of those bicyclists who died, 97% weren’t wearing helmets.
  • If you’re attending an outdoor picnic – make sure foods meant to stay cool are cold and hot foods are hot. Incorrect temperatures in food will breed bacteria potentially causing food poisoning.
  • An average of 830 children under the age of 14 die each year because of accidental drowning. Keep kids safe with the pool by never leaving kids unsupervised, placing barriers to restrict pool access, learning CPR, do not assume that someone will be watching them – make sure of it.
    • When my son was 5 or 6 he went to a friend’s house to swim where the mother assured me that she was watching the boys. She meant watching from her kitchen window and not next to the pool. My son slipped off a raft they were floating on and went underneath. His friend pulled him back up as he was not a strong swimmer. We were very lucky.
  • In 2001 there were over 90,000 emergency-room visits related to trampoline injuries. Do not allow more than one child on the trampoline at a time and do not allow kids younger than 6 to play on the trampoline.
  • Be cautious of children when doing yardwork. Don’t allow children to ride on lawnmowers or play near motorized equipment.
  • CPSC (Consumer Product Safety Commission) recommends at least 9 inches of mulch or wood chips around swing sets or playground equipment to help absorb the impact of a fall.
  • Continually remind your kids about stranger danger. Practice or talk through various scenarios. Go one step further – when your kids are older and have cellphones create an emergency password so if they text you while they are out, you can call them with a “family emergency” to get them out of an unsafe situation.

Staying safe will keep the summer fun for you and your family!

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