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Summer Safety For Your Child

The statistics are mind boggling. Most injuries that cause accidental death of children between the ages of 1 and 14 occur between May and September.

There are Three S’s that parents should be aware of that create simple summer safety guidelines for parents to protect their children and potentially teach them safe habits for their entire lives.




Research indicates that two or more children’s blistering sunburns increase the chance of developing skin cancer later in life. Regular applications of the appropriate sunscreen can greatly reduce the risks. Sunscreen should be applied when outdoors, even on cloudy days, and reapplied after swimming or sweating. Infants under six months should be kept out of the sun completely.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, because children spend more time outside during the hot summer months than most adults, most sun exposure happens before the age of eighteen.

First and foremost, parents should make sure their children are supervised by qualified, dependable individuals when swimming. Drowning is always an associated risk, especially for children 14 and under. Watch out for the dangerous "too's” – too tired, too cold, too far from safety, too much sun, too much strenuous activity.

According to the American Red Cross drowning is second leading cause of accidental death for Americans ages 5 to 44, and drowning is the leading cause of injury death for children 1 to 2 years old. More than 300 children under the age of 5 drown in residential swimming pools each year. Always practice safety first.

Dr. Katherine Nobles of Pediatric Associates recommends taking a hands-on approach when it comes to water safety, by practicing ‘touch supervision’. Meaning they should always be within arms reach.

Most team sports require safety gear. It is the responsibility of the parents to make sure that it fits and is worn properly. And with the soaring summer temperatures, watch for signs of dehydration. For more tips and to learn about Encouraging Fairness, Fun, Opportunity, Respect and Teamwork, visit

Other popular summer activities include wheeled sports such as bike riding, skate boarding, roller-blading, and skating. The American Red Cross reports that children, ages 5 thru 15, represent the largest percentage of bicycle fatalities and injuries. The fatality rate for this age group of bicyclists is nearly double the rate for all bicycle related injuries. Head injury is the leading cause of death in bicycle accidents. They also report that 45 - 88% of these brain injuries can be prevented by wearing helmets. Parents must teach and enforce the “wear your helmet” rule while participating in wheeled activities.

It is recommended that parents and child care givers take the necessary steps to learn CPR and first aid. This will go a long way in creating a safe and fun summer for everyone.

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