- Written by Family Features Family Features
Summer is a time for playground fun, camping, boating, swimming, biking, and other outdoor activities.
Longer days mean more time outside and more physical activity, which translates to increased potential for injuries. Playground falls, lawnmower accidents, and campfire and fire-pit burns are some common childhood injuries that can happen during summer months.
These tips from Shriners Hospitals for Children can help your family enjoy a fun, injury-free summer.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that emergency departments treat more than 200,000 children ages 14 and younger every year for playground-related injuries.
Before your grandkids head to the playground, keep these precautions in mind:
- Choose parks and playgrounds that are appropriate for their age and offer shock-absorbing surfaces.
- 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 and to 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.
Make a Safe Splash
While playing poolside may be a blast, Safe Kids Worldwide reports that drowning is the leading cause of injury-related deaths for children ages 1-4 and the third-leading cause of injury-related deaths among those under 19.
Additionally, the University of Michigan Health System estimates that about 6,000 kids under the age of 14 are hospitalized because of diving injuries each year, with 1 in 5 sustaining a spinal cord injury.
Prevent accidents and injuries with these tips to ensure your family’s safety around water:
- Instruct children to never swim alone or go near water without an adult present.
- Give children your undivided attention when they are swimming or 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 the 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.
According to the U.S. Coast Guard, nearly 71 percent of all boating fatalities are drownings, 85 percent of which are a result of not wearing a life jacket.
Here is what you can do to enjoy the water safely:
- Always have 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.
Fire Safety Simplified
According to the CDC, more than 300 children ages 19 and under are treated in emergency rooms for fire- and burn-related injuries each day. Use these tips to help 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 out of the reach of young children.
- Do not leave children unattended near grills, campfires, fire pits, or bonfires. Always have a bucket of water or a fire extinguisher nearby whenever there is an open flame.
- Take your child to a doctor or hospital immediately if he or she is injured in a fire or by fireworks.
- Leave fireworks to the professionals.
To see more tips, find activity pages, and learn how to become a “Superhero of Summer Safety,” visit www.shrinershospitalsforchildren.org/safesummer.