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How to Keep Kids Safe This Summer

July 22, 2019

By Lisa Hageman, RN
Preventive Medicine Initiative Manager
Backus Hospital

As one of the coordinators for the local SafeKids coalition, I wanted to share some of the top summer safety tips as recommended by SafeKids Worldwide.  As we spend time on vacation visiting friends and family,  it’s a good reminder to have safety fresh in our minds.

Swimming Safety: During the dog days of summer, a dip in the pool, a trip to the beach and a visit to the local lake are a crowd favorite.  When children are swimming, make sure they are supervised at all times by choosing a Water Watcher. A Water Watcher is a responsible adult who agrees to watch the kids in the water without distractions and wear a Water Watcher card. After a certain amount of time (15 minutes perhaps), the Water Watcher card is passed to another adult who becomes responsible for the active supervision.

Summer Travel:  The best way to keep children safe in the car is to use the appropriate car seat.  Correctly used child safety seats can reduce the risk of death by as much as 71 percent.   Studies have shown that three out of four car seats are not used or installed correctly. SafeKids has an ultimate car seat guide which gives practical tips to keep kids safe in cars.

Hot Cars: Never leave your child in a car alone, not even for a minute.  A car can heat up 19 degrees in just 10 minutes. And, cracking a window doesn’t help.  Young children are particularly at risk, as their bodies heat up three to five times faster than an adult’s.

Grilling Safety: For all the grillmasters out there, position the grill away from foot traffic and play areas and create a three-foot “kid-free zone” around the grill to prevent burns. Keep all matches and lighters away from children. Teach your children to report any loose matches or lighters to an adult immediately. Never leave your grill unattended while you are cooking. The No. 1 cause of residential fires is unattended cooking.

Bike Safety: Riding bikes is a great way to exercise and explore the neighborhood. Keep your kids protected by teaching them to always wear a​ properly fitted bike helmet. It’s the best way to prevent a serious head injury.

To find more safety tips, print a Water Watcher card or view the ultimate car seat guide, click here.  Have a great rest of your summer!

Lisa Hageman is Preventive Medicine Initiative Manager at Backus Hospital in Norwich.