It’s estimated that every year, one in four kids ages 14 and younger will sustain an injury that requires medical attention. 40% of all injury-related emergency room visits and 42% of all injury deaths happen between May and August. This summer, let’s educate our kids (and ourselves) on safety so we can reduce 90% of these accidents.
SunburnRegardless of age and skin type, the American Academy of Dermatology recommends that everyone, adults and kids alike, apply a water-resistant sunscreen that protects against both UVA and UVB rays every day of the year (even in winter and on cloudy days). Choose a sunscreen that is at least SPF 30 and apply it 15 to 30 minutes before going outside. (If you're using both sunscreen and insect repellent, apply sunscreen first and then repellent.)
Repellents don’t kill insects, but they can reduce bites from mosquitoes, ticks and other bothersome bugs. There are two type of repellents, those with DEET and those without. While it’s advised that DEET on kids should be used “sparingly” and should NOT be used on infants, it’s probably safe to say let’s not use repellents with DEETS at all. We are trying to avoid accidents right? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends repellents that contain picaridin or oil of lemon eucalyptus, both are non-toxic and able to reduce mosquito bites just as well as formulas with low levels of DEET.
Never leave kids alone near the pool, no matter what their ages or swim capabilities are. Parents can and should take precautions around home pools, in addition to closely supervising kids while they swim. Installing fencing around pools, at least 5-feet high, all the way around and with a self-closing, self-latching gate, like the MagnaLatch and TruClose adjustable, self-closing gate hinges, can prevent 50 to 90 percent of accidental drowning incidents. For a full list of layers of protection, visit http://www.poolsafely.gov/
Playground SafetyThe CPSC reports over 205,000 kids visit emergency rooms with playground-related injuries each year. Check the playground equipment before letting kids play on it. For example, surfaces that are too hot can cause burns, and loose ropes can cause accidental strangulation. The ground should be covered in a protective surface such as rubber mats, wood or rubber mulch or wood chips, never grass, asphalt or concrete. The right surface materials could reduce the risk of head injury or other severe injury in the event of a fall.
Bike RidesOver 300,000 kids each year visit the emergency room due to bike-related injuries, some result in death or severe brain injury. Helmets can greatly reduce your child’s risk of that ER visit. The CPSC sets standards for helmets, so look for the seal of approval. Also, as you ride with your child set an example and put a helmet on too.
Overheating & Hydration
Staying hydrated in hot weather can help reduce the risk of heat-related illness. If you’re feeling thirsty, you are already mildly dehydrated. Keep water or sports drinks (with electrolytes) on hand to maintain hydration, and try to stay in a shady or air-conditioned location during the hottest parts of the afternoon. Mild symptoms of heat exhaustion may include feeling thirsty, fatigue and cramps (legs or abdominal). If left untreated, heat exhaustion can progress to heatstroke.
For the sake of our child’s safety let’s be reminded that kids need us to teach them, guide them and protect them.