Hospital offers summer safety tips for parents

Your children love summer, but did you know that summer is the most dangerous time of the year for kids?

Children will be rushed to emergency rooms nearly 3 million times this summer during “trauma season” from May to August. The greatest summertime risks include motor vehicle crashes, drownings, bike crashes, pedestrian incidents, falls and other hazards. Sadly, more than 2,000 of these children will die, unless we share information about protecting children with our families, neighbors and friends. Don’t let your child be one of them.

Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego and Safe Kids USA offer these simple tips for families to protect children from the top summertime risks:

  • Actively supervise your child when engaging in summertime activities, such as swimming and playing on playgrounds and backyards.
  • Use the appropriate safety gear for your child’s activities, such as a helmet for wheeled sports and sporting activities, a car seat or booster seat as appropriate and a life jacket for open water swimming and boating.
  • Model proper safety behavior. Children are more likely to follow safety rules when they see their parents doing so.
  • If you have a pool or a spa, it should be surrounded on all four sides by a fence at least 4 feet high with self-closing, self-latching gates and it should be equipped with an anti-entrapment drain cover and safety vacuum release system.
  • An inflatable pool needs to be surrounded by a fence, just like any other pool, and parents need to empty these pools when not in use.
  • Make sure your home playground is safe. Keep 12 inches of safe surfacing, such as mulch, shredded rubber or fine sand, extending at least 6 feet in all directions around the equipment. Remove hood and neck drawstrings from your child’s clothing.
  • Keep children away from the grill area while preheating and cooking, and while the grill is cooling.
  • Remove potential poisons from your yard, including poisonous plants, pesticides and pool chemicals.
  • Walk all the way around a parked vehicle to check for children before entering a car and starting the motor. Don’t let children play in driveways, streets, parking lots or unfenced yards adjacent to busy streets.
  • Apply sunscreen rated SPF 15 or higher to your child’s exposed skin 15 to 30 minutes before going out, and reapply frequently.
  • Make sure your child drinks plenty of water. A child who seems tired or achy should rest in the shade or go inside for a while. Get immediate medical help any time a child’s skin is hot to the touch (with or without perspiration), if a child has a seizure or if they become disoriented in hot weather.
  • Active supervision, proper protective gear and other simple prevention steps will help your child avoid danger.