The official beginning of summer is only days away! Summer is a very exciting time of year for children and their families. People are out of school, there are barbecues, the beach, amusement parks, and anything else under the sun.
However, before you pack your bags to enjoy all of the summer festivities, here are a few safety tips that can help you and your family avoid serious injury this summer season.
Swimming Safety Tips
Everyone should follow basic safety rules in and around water. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that about 4,000 people drown each year. To keep yourself and your family safe this summer remember:
- Teach children to swim with an adult. Older, more experienced swimmers should still swim with a partner every time.
- Swimming aids such as water wings or noodles are fun toys for kids but are not appropriate to be used as a personal floatation device (PFD). Be sure to use a U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket or PFD for your kids.
- Teach children that swimming in open water is NOT the same as swimming in a pool. They need to be aware of uneven surfaces, river currents, ocean undertow and changing weather.
- If you are caught in a rip current, try not to panic. Signal to those on shore that you need assistance. Swim parallel to the shore until you are out of the current. Once you are free, swim toward shore. If you can’t swim to the shore, float or tread water until you are free of the rip current and then head toward shore.
Grilling Safety Tips
- Position the grill well away from foot traffic and play areas. Areas along siding, deck railings, out from under eaves and overhanging branches could also be potentially dangerous.
- Keep children and pets away from the grill area by declaring a three-foot “kid-free zone” around the grill.
- Keep all matches and lighters away from children. Teach your children to report any loose matches or lighters to an adult immediately.
- Don’t add charcoal starter fluid when coals have already been ignited.
- Never grill indoors – not in your house, camper, tent, or any enclosed area. Keep the grill out in the open, away from the house, deck, tree branches, or anything that could catch fire.
- Make sure everyone, including pets, stays away from the grill.
- Use the long-handled tools especially made for cooking on the grill to keep the chef safe
Staying Safe Outdoors
- Give your children a few first aid basics such as when to use a bandage, what a tick might look like and how to spot poison ivy.
- Teach kids not to play with matches and lighters and keep a bucket of water and a shovel near your campfire. It’s important to supervise children around an open flame.
Now, let’s enjoy the time off and fun in the sun. You deserve it! Share these safety tips with friends and family, and have a safe and happy summer!