Summer Safety

On the Playground

Actively supervise children on playgrounds. Falls are the most common type of playground injury, accounting for more than 75% of all playground-related injuries. Lack of or improper supervision is associated with approximately 45% of playground-related injuries.

Top Tips
  • Actively supervise children on playgrounds. It won’t be hard—they’ll probably be calling for you to watch them climb, jump and swing.
  • Take your kids to playgrounds with shock-absorbing surfaces such as rubber, synthetic turf, sand, pea gravel, wood chips or mulch. If your child falls, the landing will be more cushioned than on asphalt, concrete, grass or dirt.
  • Dress appropriately for the playground. Remove necklaces, purses, scarves or clothing with drawstrings that can get caught on equipment and pose a strangulation hazard. Even helmets can be dangerous on a playground, so save those for bikes.
  • Teach children that pushing, shoving or crowding while on the playground can be dangerous

Babies and young kids sometimes can sleep so peacefully that we forget they are even there. It also can be tempting to leave a baby alone in a car while we quickly run into the store. The problem is that leaving a child alone in a car can lead to serious injury or death from heatstroke. Young children are particularly at risk, as their bodies heat up three to five times faster than an adult’s. Heatstroke is the leading cause of non-crash, vehicle-related deaths for children. On average, every 8 days a child dies from heatstroke in a vehicle.

Top Tips

Reduce the number of deaths from heatstroke by remembering to ACT.
A: Avoid heatstroke-related injury and death. Never leave your child alone in a car, not even for a minute.
C: Create reminders by putting something in the back of your car next to your child such as a briefcase, a purse or a cell phone that is needed at your final destination. This is especially important if you’re not following your normal routine.
T: Take action. If you see a child alone in a car, call 911. Emergency personnel want you to call. They are trained to respond to these situations. One call could save a life.

Sports Safety for Big Kids

Learn how to keep your kid safe while they play a sport. This is the age when organized and recreational sports can become a big part of a child’s life. To help your child get the most out of sports follow these tips and guidelines.

Top Tips
  • Before playing organized sports, make sure your child receives a pre-participation physical exam, or PPE, performed by a doctor, nurse practitioner or qualified clinician under the supervision of a physician. Whoever performs the exam, the same practices should be followed, including the need for a medical history.
  • Encourage children to drink water before, during and after athletic activities or play.
  • Adults should be present at all times to ensure a safe playing environment and the enforcement of safety rules. This is particularly important for younger kids.
  • An off-season is important. It is recommended that kids get 10 consecutive weeks of rest from any one sport every year.
  • Make sure your coach is trained in first aid and CPR, and understands how to prevent, recognize and/or respond to concussions and overuse injuries.

Summer Safety Points

Read this blog post by Dr. Chelsea Burgin, a physician with Prisma Health MD360, for more summer safety tips to keep your family happy, healthy and ready for the next adventure.

Safety on the Road

Father, parent or the driving instructor, handing the car key to the teenager girl, who is learning to drive.

The teenage years are an exciting time for teens who have a new sense of independence in the car, whether it’s as a new driver or as a passenger in a friend’s car. It’s a time that can be both liberating and frightening for parents.

The good news is parents can make a difference by talking with their teens about expectations and setting rules and boundaries. Parents, spend as much time as you can with your new driver to help them hone their skills.

Unfortunately, six teens are killed every day in a motor vehicle crash in the U.S. In fact, crashes are the leading cause of death for teens, ahead of all other types of injury, violence or disease.

Top Tips
  • It’s never too late to be a good role model. Your son or daughter has been watching what you do in cars since they were small, and will model their good and bad behavior after what they see you do. Even if you’ve made mistakes, start doing the right thing today.
  • Buckle up on every ride, every time; front seat and back. Make buckling up a habit when kids are young.
  • Make a formal agreement with your teen driver, setting clear expectations about your family rules. Discuss different scenarios your new driver may encounter and what scares you about these situations. Define your zero-tolerance rules for driving, addressing speeding, alcohol and texting.
  • Make sure your teen gets at least 50 hours of practice with an experienced driver in a variety of road conditions. Check state laws to find out what’s required, but don’t stop there if your child needs more time.
  • Limit the number of passengers allowed in the car with your teen. The risk for a fatal crash increases as the number of passengers increases. Every child is different, so set your rules based on your own assessment of your child.
  • Encourage your child to speak up if a driver of any age isn’t driving safely and makes them feel scared. Provide them with alternative plans to get home, just in case.

Summer safety information provided by SafeKids Worldwide. Learn more about keeping your kids safe all year.