While the warmer months and longer days are often a time for outdoor fun and more physical activ-ity—camping, boating, swimming, biking and the like—they can also mean an increased potential for injuries. Playground falls, lawn mower accidents, campfire and fire pit burns are common childhood injuries—but they don’t have to happen to your family. These tips from Shriners Hospitals for Children can help.
Go Outside and Play
Outdoor play provides physical and mental health benefits, including opportunities for exercise, creative expression, stress reduction and access to a natural source of vitamin D—sunlight. Before sending kids out to play, however, make sure they’re wearing shoes to protect from cuts, scrapes and splinters, and sunscreen to protect against sunburns and harmful ultraviolet rays.
• 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, to wait until the swing stops before getting off and to be careful when walking in front of moving swings.
Make a Safe Splash
• Instruct children to never swim alone or go near water without an adult present.
• 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 aboveground pools.
Fun on the Water
• Have children wear a Coast Guard–approved, properly fitted life jacket while on a boat or when participat-ing 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.
• Check water conditions and forecasts before going out on the water.
Fire Safety Simplified
• 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.
• Leave fireworks to the professionals.
To see other tips, find activity pages and learn how to become a “Superhero of Summer Safety,” visit www.shrinershospitalsforchildren.org/safesummer