Summer should be a relaxing, carefree time, so keep an eye out with safety tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics and Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt:
Rushing to ball games … kids in the pool … hot, endless days … be alert for the kids. Keep the summer fun and relaxing with these safety tips:
Slip-up: Leaving kids in your car.
No, no, no! Each year, more than 30 children die from heat stroke after being left unattended in motor vehicles. BE SAFE: Never leave kids in your car alone, even with windows cracked or for just a few minutes. Put your wallet in the backseat if Baby’s back there to help you remember.
Slip-up: Who’s watching your swimmers?
It’s easy to think another parent is on pool duty at a summer party, yet even a few unsupervised minutes in the water can be deadly for a young child. BE SAFE: Assign a supervisor — a certified lifeguard or an adult — to be on official duty for pool parties. Keep rescue equipment — a shepherd’s hook and life preserver — nearby. Also: dump water from wading pools when done with them for the day.
Slip-up: Skipping sunscreen.
Fifteen minutes in the sun means exposure to ultraviolet rays. BE SAFE: Cover your kids with SPF 30 sunscreen in the morning before heading out. Reapply at lunch and after swimming. Avoid that harsh, middle-of-the day sun.
Slip-up: Allowing no helmets.
Tennessee law requires helmets for all children younger than 16 when bike riding. Tell that to your big kids the next time they balk at your request. BE SAFE: Helmets reduce head injuries from bicycle accidents by up to 80 percent. Use helmets that meet safety standards (see cpsc.gov), and make sure it’s secured right.
Slip-up: Meds on hotel nightstands.
It happens when you’re traveling with kids. BE SAFE: Keep your meds out of reach, just like at home. Tuck them away in your suitcase or on a high shelf. Do the same when grandparents or friends visit with theirs.
Slip-up: Cutting the lawn with kids nearby.
Small pebbles or chopped sticks can fly out and hurt someone. BE SAFE: Clear your lawn before cutting the grass and be aware of where your children are playing if they’re outside.
Slip-up: Under-cooking food or leaving it out.
Summer picnics mean food can be left on tables at length. Or, in a rush for more hotdogs, they may not get cooked long enough. BE SAFE: Never leave food out for more than one hour on a hot day. Put it in an insulated cooler with plenty of ice. Make sure foods are cooked thoroughly.
Slip-up: Not drinking water.
Dehydration DOES happen in hot, hot summer. BE SAFE: Make sure your kids get plenty to drink, even if they say they’re not thirsty!