Even though my children are mostly young adults now, I still worry about their safety especially during the summer months. They have more free time to explore their world, be physically active, and just to be all around goofy with friends. Some adults parent with the idea of basic self-preservation and believe the child should learn from their own experiences; and, some parents may simply have difficulty helping their children understand simple rules for summer safety. I inherently believe parents in both groups want what is best for their children. For people seeking a way to guide children into making safe choices, the Shriners Hospitals for Children are encouraging kids across the nation to be Superheroes of Summer Safety. With printables on Summer Safety and a Summer Activity Sheet, Shriners Hospitals ensure families know how to have a fun, injury-free summer.
Did you know?
Summer is known as “trauma season” among public health and medical professionals because unintentional deaths and serious injuries increase dramatically among children during these months.*
The good news is, many of these injuries may be preventable by following some simple tips and learning how to avoid accidents and injuries.
The Centers for Disease Control reported that every year emergency departments treat more than 200,000 children ages 14 and younger for playground-related injuries.* Before your kids head outside to play, be sure to keep these precautions in mind:
- Take your children to playgrounds with shock-absorbing surfaces. Choose parks and playgrounds that are appropriate for their age.
- Teach children that pushing and shoving on the playground can result in accidents and injuries.
- Remind kids to go down the slide one at a time and to wait until the slide is completely clear before taking their turn. Teach them to always sit facing forward with their legs straight in front of them. Insist they NEVER slide down headfirst!
- Remind children to swing sitting down. Encourage them to wait until the swing stops before getting off and to be careful when walking in front of moving swings.
- Before sending kids out to play, make sure they always wear shoes to protect feet from cuts, scrapes and splinters, and wear sunscreen to protect from sunburns and harmful ultra-violet rays.
Make a safe splash
While playing poolside may be a blast, Safe Kids Worldwide Organization reports that drowning is the leading injury-related cause of death for children ages 1-4 and it is the third leading cause of injury-related death among children 19 and under.* Additionally, each year about 6,000 young people under age 14 are hospitalized because of a diving injury, with one in five of those sustaining a spinal cord injury.**
Supervision and common sense can go a long way to prevent accidents and injuries. Always practice these tips to ensure your family’s safety around water:
- Teach children to never swim alone or go near water without an adult present.
- Give children your undivided attention when they are swimming or are near any body of water.
- Always jump in feet first to check the depth before diving into any body of water.
- Never dive in the shallow end of a pool or into above-ground pools.
Fun on the water
Boating, tubing and other water sports can be great fun but can also be dangerous. Nearly 71 percent of all boating fatalities are caused by drowning and 85 percent are a result of not wearing a life jacket.* Here is what you can do to enjoy the water safely:
- Always have your children wear a Coast Guard approved, properly-fitted life jacket while on a boat, around an open body of water or when participating in water sports.
- Educate yourself. According to the U.S. Coast Guard, 86 percent of boating accident deaths involve boaters who have not completed a safety course.*
- Always check water conditions and forecasts before going out on the water. The safety of your passengers is dependent on you.
While a lawn mower may seem like just a common household tool, thousands of children are injured in lawn mower accidents each year, some severely. Lawn mower injuries account for a large percentage of accidental amputations according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. The speed of the blade can send dirt and bacteria deep into a wound, creating a high risk for severe infection.* To avoid accidents involving lawn mowers, keep these tips in mind:
- Teach children to never play on or around a lawn mower, even when it is not in use. They should never be permitted to walk alongside, in front of or behind a moving mower.
- Children under 6 years of age should be kept inside the home while mowing.
- Children should be at least 12 years of age before operating a push lawn mower and at least 16 years of age before operating a riding lawn mower.
Fire safety simplified
In 2012, more than 136,000 children across the United States, including more than 67,000 children 4 and under, were injured due to a fire or burn and treated in emergency rooms.* Use these tips to keep children safe around fires, fireworks, grills and other heat sources:
- Teach kids to never play with matches, gasoline, lighter fluid or lighters. Make a habit of placing these items up and away from young children.
- Do not leave children unattended near grills, campfires, fire pits or bonfires. Always have a bucket of water or fire extinguisher nearby whenever there is a burning fire.
- Take your child to a doctor or hospital immediately if he or she is injured in a fire or by fireworks.
Shriners Hospitals for Children wants all kids to enjoy a safe, injury-free summer. Should an injury occur, the physicians and staff of Shriners Hospitals are here to help.
To find out more about the treatments available visit ShrinersHospitalsforChildren.org.
To make an appointment, please call 800-237-5055.
About Shriners Hospitals for Children
Shriners Hospitals for Children is changing lives every day through innovative pediatric specialty care, world-class research and outstanding medical education. Our 22 locations in the United States, Canada and Mexico, provide advanced care for children with orthopaedic conditions, burns, spinal cord injuries, and cleft lip and palate.
Shriners Hospitals for Children is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and relies on the generosity of donors. All donations are tax deductible to the fullest extent permitted by law. To donate click here