I have written about ‘summer safety’ before, and I’m still as passionate about it now as ever. Summer months are great for letting-go and enjoying later bedtimes, spontaneous movie nights and weekend trips, which is much needed after a long and rigorous school year. But, oftentimes, summer months include more accidents! It’s a hard stat to hear, but did you know that unintentional injury is a leading cause of death in children ages 1-19. And the vast majority (90%) of these injuries are preventable. We, as caregivers [yes, I’m including myself as a mom of two grade-schoolers], must be vigilant about keeping our children safe.
Whether you are with your child all-day, everyday, or relying on a caregiver, daycare or camp, we all need reminders. Make sure you know this “3-Step Summer Safety Plan” to help prevent injuries, which really can be used year-round. And review these tips to help you get the most out of the summertime without compromising safety. Stay hydrated, put on that sunscreen and enjoy all summer has to offer!
3-Step Summer Safety Plan
- Prepare the environment. Take a few minutes to walk your house (inside and out including the garage). The home is where roughly half of all injuries take place. Are any poisonous plants growing where the kids play or explore? Are the batteries in the fire alarms charged? Does the swing set need a tune up? Is the pool fence closed? Are chemicals, fertilizers and sharp lawn tools put away or out of reach? Take a little time to take care of these issues. Not only will doing so create a safer environment, but it will allow children more freedom in their play and lower your stress levels.
- Keep a watchful eye, and make sure wherever they are going, there is a good ratio of supervisors to children.The trend lately is to loosen the reins on our kids. “Hovering” or “helicopter parenting” is often mentioned negatively as a style of parenting. But there is an important distinction between protecting our children and “helicopter parenting.” Protecting children from environmental dangers is not a “style” of parenting, it’s just good parenting! It is our responsibility as parents and caregivers to keep kids safe.
- Have a plan in place. Keep phone numbers on the fridge or in your phone and ensure anyone who is watching your child has them and knows where the nearest hospital is and has CPR and basic first-aid training.