How to Have Fun and Protect Your Family This Summer
Whatever you have planned this summer - swim parties, outdoor activities, camping, bicycling, boating - activities can be fun. but they all also have some element of risk. You can however take steps to protect your family, and especially your children to help them safely enjoy their summer without any pain and suffering.
The American Academy of Pediatrics has the following tips:
Bicycling safety - When bicycling, everybody in the family should wear a helmet. It doesn't matter if you are on a public street, a bike path or off-road trail, protecting your head from a fall is the smartest thing you can do to minimize the risk of a traumatic brain injury if you crash.
Also, teach your children to ride on the right side of the road in the same direction as traffic. Teach them to obey all stop signs and traffic lights. They should never ride at night.
Pool safety - An adult should always be supervising when the kids are in or near the pool or spa. Supervising means actually watching the kids; not reading a book, texting or watching videos on the phone. It is the best prevention of drowning in children.
For small children, especially any under five years old, an adult should be within arm's reach length of the child.
Do not use a pool with a broken or missing drain cover, as the suction can trap a child underwater.
Boating safety - If you are taking a boat excursion, everyone should wear life vests at all times once they are in the boat and on water. Everybody should have a life jacket that fits. This is especially important for little children. as an ill-fitting life jacket can slip off if the child falls into the water.
The same rules as driving a vehicle apply when you are piloting a boat. Whoever is at the helm must abstain from alcohol. Additionally, all passengers should be warned of the dangers of using alcohol, drugs and some prescription drugs while on the water. If someone who is under the influence falls into the water, the risk of them drowning increases exponentially.
Playground safety - During the COVID-19 pandemic, it may not be a good idea to let your children play in a playground, climbing on equipment that countless other kids have climbed on and touched. Kids regularly touch their faces, which is one of the most likely ways to become infected.
If they are using a playground, it should have safety-tested mats or loose-fill materials (shredded rubber, sand, wood chips or bark).
Safety on skateboards, scooters, in-line skates and Heelys - If your children are riding skateboards and scooters or using in-line skates or Heelys, they should wear protective gear at all times, particularly a helmet. The helmets should meet ASTM or another certified safety standard.
For in-line skates and Heelys, besides a helmet, you should also provide them with wrist and knee guards to protect against the most common injuries from falls from such gear. Don't let the children skate or use their Heely's on the street. Instead, they should only skate on designated paths or rinks.
Lawnmower safety - Do not let anybody younger than 16 use a riding lawnmower, and do not allow children to ride as passengers.
No child under 12 should be allowed to use a walk-behind lawnmower. Anyone mowing the lawn should wear sturdy shoes and eye protection to reduce the chances of being hit by a flying object and sustaining an injury.