Summer is a time everyone anticipates. Summer means outdoor activities, cleaning, yard work, bike riding and swimming. Every parent should think about safety first before any activity. Every summer thousands of children are poisoned, suffer head trauma or drown because simple safety measures are ignored.
All motor fluids, radiator fluids and cleaning agents, and gardening chemicals (including fertilizers) need to be kept up high and locked. Once used, leftovers or changed fluids should be discarded safely. Never leave children or pets around oils, antifreeze or fertilizers without close supervision (or eyes in the back of a parent’s head).
Never, never, never back a vehicle out of the garage or out of the driveway without removing all toys from behind and make sure children are in the house or can be easily seen by the driver. Children and pets have a knack of running behind a car when least expected.
Do not let children under thirteen ride on or operate lawn tractors, lawn mowers, hedge trimmers, edge trimmers and chain saws. They do not have the coordination, strength, common sense and fear to avoid serious injury. Even after they are old enough to use garden power tools, close supervision is mandatory.
Every year thousands of children suffer concussions, brain damage and even death due to falls from bicycles, scooters, skateboards and roller blades. Be a caring parent and do not let your child ride without a helmet. Remember that the final decision is a parent’s responsibility and not the child’s. Children may feel it is nerdy to wear a helmet but the alternative of being unable to hear, unable to use arms or legs or unable to control bowels due to brain damage is life altering.
Swimming and playing in water are some of summer’s pleasures. Do not let them turn tragic.
All swimming pools must be fenced, water access to lakes and the ocean must be gated off to young children and hot tubs must be kept locked when not in use. It only takes 3 inches of water for an infant or toddler to drown so all kiddy pools should be emptied and turned upside down when not in use.
Enroll children in swimming classes as early as possible. A 2 year old is coordinated enough to learn basic swim strokes and swimming lessons are inexpensive at your local YMCA.
Finally, make a rule that no one is allowed to swim alone and that every child under 13 years of age has an adult spotter who watches them continuously while they are in the water. Many children have drowned in pools, lakes and the ocean even though adults were in the water or in close proximity. The adults were not completely attentive and thought the child was playing or swimming under the water and did not realize the child was in distress until it was too late.