Top 10 Summer Safety Tips to Help Kids Have Fun and Stay Injury-Free

Safe Kids Platte Valley and CHI Health remind parents to keep an eye out and avoid preventable injuries during the summer

Summer, an exciting time for kids, is also a time when children are at a greater risk for injuries even death. Two-thirds of all drownings occur between May and August and most commonly on the weekends. Safe Kids Platte Valley, in conjunction with CHI Health Good Samaritan, is encouraging all parents and caregivers to plan their summer break with safety in mind.

"Summer, starting with Memorial Day weekend, is a great time to connect with family and friends and spend time outdoors, boating, hanging out by the pool or grilling," said Tracy Dethlefs, Safe Kids Platte Valley and trauma prevention coordinator at Good Samaritan. "With all these activities comes safety risks that we might not be thinking about. By adopting a few simple safety tips, the summer can be fun for everyone."

Safe Kids Platte Valley and Good Samaritan recommend the following top tips to stay safe during the summer.

  1. Give kids your undivided attention. Actively supervise children throughout the summer, whether it's at the playground or in and around water. Small children can drown in as little as one inch of water.
  2. Use the Water Watcher strategy. When there are several adults present and children are swimming, use the Water Watcher card strategy to designate an adult as the Water Watcher for a certain amount of time (such as 15-minute periods) to prevent lapses in supervision and give parents a chance to read, make phone calls or take a bathroom break.
  3. Educated your children about swimming safety. Every child is different, so enroll children in swimming lessons when you feel they are ready. Whether swimming in a backyard pool or in a lake, teach children to swim with an adult. Older, more experienced swimmers should still swim with a partner every time.
  4. Learn CPR. We know you have a million things to do, but learning CPR should be at the top of the list. It will give you tremendous peace of mind - and the more peace of mind you have as a parent, the better.
  5. Be extra careful around pool drains. Teach children to never play or swim near drains or suction outlets, which can cause situations where kids can get stuck underwater.
  6. Wear life jackets. Always have your children wear a life jacket approved by the U.S. Coast Guard while on boats, around open bodies of water or when participating in water sports. Make sure the life jacket fits snugly. Have the child make a "touchdown" signal by raising both arms straight up; if the life jacket hits the child's chin or ears, it may be too big or the straps may be too loose.
  7. Drink water during sports. Have your kids bring a water bottle to practice and games and drink plenty of water before, during and after play. This is especially important in summer months to avoid dehydration.
  8. Set up your grill with safety in mind. Use long-handled grilling tools and position your grill well away from siding, deck railings and overhanging branches, while keeping a safe distance from play areas and foot traffic. Periodically remove grease or fat buildup in trays below the grill so it cannot be ignited by heat.
  9. Never leave your child alone in a car, not even for a minute. It can be tempting to leave a child alone in a car while you quickly run into a store, but it can cause serious injury or even death in a matter of minutes. Reduce the number of deaths from heatstroke by remembering to ACT - avoid heatstroke, create reminders, and take action if you see a child left alone.
  10. Wear a helmet for biking and other wheeled sports. We have a simple saying: "Use your head, wear a helmet." It is the single most effective safety device available to reduce head injury and death from bike crashes. Kids should wear a helmet when riding a scooter, skating, skateboarding or biking.

For more information, contact Tracy Dethlefs at (308) 865-2011 or visit www.safekids.org.

About Safe Kids Platte Valley
Safe Kids Platte Valley works to prevent unintentional childhood injury, the number one cause of death for children in the United States. Safe Kids Platte Valley is a member of Safe Kids Worldwide, a global network of organizations dedicated to preventing unintentional injury. Safe Kids Platte Valley, founded in 2004, is led by CHI Health Good Samaritan. For more information, visit safekids.org or safekidsnebraska.org.

To learn more safety tips, visit: http://www.safekids.org/safetytips

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