The school year may be over, but now's a great time to learn the ABC's of keeping your kids safe, healthy and happy all summer long.
- Teach your children how to swim.
- Watch your kids closely when they're in or around water, even if they know how to swim.
- Teach your children not to swallow water when swimming - it can be contaminated with germs.
- Keep your child out of the water if they have any contagious disease or an open wound.
- Make sure your child is protected with sunscreen, and reapply it after they've been in the water.
- Never let your children swim outdoors during a lightning storm.
- Childproof your pool by enclosing it with a permanent fence that has a self-closing and self-latching gate.
- To prevent swimmer's ear, have your child tilt her or his head to one side and shake it to help the water drain out. Then roll a small piece of tissue between your thumb and forefinger and gently insert it a short distance into the ear to absorb the remaining water.
Swimmer's ear is an infection of the skin lining the ear canal. Bacteria can enter the skin of the ear canal and cause an infection through a scratch, injury from a foreign object, or if the ear is wet for a prolonged period of time.
- Make sure your child always wears a helmet and that it fits properly.
- Check the bike to make sure brakes, reflectors and tires are working.
- Teach your child to check for traffic before entering a street or intersection by looking left and right.
- Explain the rules of the road to your child. Bicycles are considered vehicles and must obey many of the same rules as motorists.
- Teach your child the proper hand signals for left turn, right turn and stopping.
- Never allow your child to wear headphones while riding - they'll block traffic sounds.
Helmet should be worn squarely on the top of the head, covering the top of the forehead. The chinstrap must be fastened and the helmet should fit snugly and comfortably. The helmet should not be able to move side-to-side or front-to-back.
- Use sunscreen with at least an SPF of 15 that protects against UVA and UVB rays and apply to your child 20 minutes before sun exposure.
- Even if it's cloudy outside, your child still needs sunscreen.
- Sunscreen isn't enough. Dress your child in light-colored fabrics that cover exposed areas.
- Make sure your child drinks plenty of water.
- Encourage your child to wear a hat and sunglasses.
- Watch children while they play.
- Keep children away from the front of swings while in use.
- Make sure metal slides are cool to prevent burns.
- Check play equipment for exposed bolt heads, sharp edges and places where fingers can get pinched. Cover these with rubber.
- The ground should be covered in a protective surface such as rubber mats, wood or rubber mulch or wood chips - never grass, asphalt or concrete.
- Don't let your kids ride double on swings and slides.
Bug Bite Safety
- Make sure your child wears shoes to minimize the risk of a bee or insect sting on the feet.
- Use insect repellent sparingly on older children and never on infants. Wash it off as soon as your child comes indoors.
- Check your child for ticks.
- If your child develops hives or wheezing after an insect sting, he or she may be allergic. Seek prompt medical attention.
Allergic reaction to bee stings occurs when a person becomes sensitized to the venom from a previous sting. This reaction is different from the reaction to the poison in the bite of a black widow spider, which injects a potent toxin into the blood. Ordinarily, bee venom is not toxic and will only cause local pain and swelling.
- The best way to protect your kids is not to use any fireworks at home. Attend public fireworks displays and leave the lighting to the pros.
- Young children should never play with fireworks. Firecrackers, rockets and sparklers can cause serious burns. Sparklers can reach 1,800° F - hot enough to melt gold.
- Older children should only use fireworks with close adult supervision.
- Always use fireworks outside and have a bucket of water and hose nearby in case of accidents.
- Don't allow kids to pick up pieces of fireworks after an event. Some may still be ignited and can explode at any time.