Three summer safety tips

Three summer safety tips

By Janet Lee, MD
Pediatric Hospitalist

Summer is a wonderful time of year to be active outdoors.  Sunny days provide so many fun activities for children to get exercise and stay healthy.   While enjoying the warm weather, it’s important to be aware of potential injuries and take the necessary precautions to keep kids safe. Here are three summer safety tips to keep in mind:

Helmets

Kids should always wear a helmet while riding a bike, skateboard, scooter or in-line skates. Helmets can prevent traumatic brain injury and save lives!  A child should wear a helmet on short or long rides (no one can ever predict when an injury may occur).

Make sure the helmet meets safety standards and fits appropriately.  The helmet should be worn level on the head, covering the forehead.  The strap should be tightened enough to allow only two fingers between the chin and strap.  As a parent, make sure to be a good role model for your child and wear a helmet.

Open Windows

It is common to open windows during hot days to allow for cool fresh air.  For kids, the screen is a misleading barrier between the indoors and outdoors.  Screens are meant to pop off easily in the case of an emergency.  A child leaning against a screen to peer outside (especially tempting when they hear children playing outside) can easily cause the screen to pop off, resulting in a fall. Falls even from a first or second story window can cause severe injuries. Always supervise your children near open windows and use window guards to prevent kids from opening them too far. 

Campfires

Campfires and fire pits are a common source of burns for children.  It’s important to talk about fire safety with them before getting the fire started.  Always supervise children near fires; make sure they keep a safe distance and refrain from horseplay near an open flame.  Kids should be aware that even after a fire is put out the remains and embers still have the potential to cause severe burns.  Keep a bucket of water or fire extinguisher nearby.  With a healthy respect for the potential dangers of fire, kids can still enjoy them.

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