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Summer Safety Tips For Parents

Aug 17, 2007
Did you know that automobile accidents are the leading cause of death for children over the age of 1? Or that each year over 400,000 children are treated in emergency rooms for bicycle riding-related injuries? Did you know that childhood sun exposure may be one of most significant contributing factors to skin cancer later on in life? Or that drowning is the number one cause of accidental death for children ages 1-4 in California?

Summertime is a fun season for children, but it can also be a dangerous time of year. The good news is that parents who take the proper precautions can significantly decrease the likelihood that their child will be injured.

Automobile Safety

When traveling with young passengers, make sure that any children under the age of 14 are buckled in the backseat. Booster seats are recommended for all children under 4' tall and under 100 pounds. Make sure that all car seats are properly installed. Most local police stations and fire stations offer free installation instructions.

Bicycle Safety

Along with youth automobile safety, parents should also concern themselves with their children's bike riding habits. In order to reduce to risk of serious injury, parents should encourage helmet use. Some experts estimate that wearing a bike helmet may reduce the risk of brain injury by up to 88%. Other studies reveal that parents who wear bike helmets have children who wear bike helmets, as parents serve as safety role models for their children.

Other bike safety precautions to consider: ensuring proper tire inflation, installing bicycle lights for night-riding, walking bicycles across streets within crosswalks, and utilizing bike trails and sidewalks rather than riding in the street.

Sun Safety

Experts believe that prolonged and unprotected sun exposure as a child can significantly increase one's chances of developing skin cancer later in life. Sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 should be applied and re-applied during outside activities. Waterproof sunscreen should be utilized during water activities and should also be re-applied. Parents should also consider encouraging their children to wear hats in order to protect their faces from sun exposure. Also, avoid the sun's harmful ultraviolet rays between 11 am and 3 pm.

Water Safety

Parents should consider enrolling children in swim lessons. Knowing how to swim is the primary way of preventing of water accidents. Parents should also discourage children from ever swimming alone or without adult supervision. Young children or inexperienced swimmers should always wear personal floatation devices. Pay attention to weather conditions- get out of the water at the first sign of bad weather. Parents should also caution children against excess strenuous activity, excess sun exposure, and excess fatigue.

In order to decrease the likelihood of serious injuries during the summer season, parents should teach their children the importance of automobile, bicycle, sun and water safety.
About the Author
Charlotte Beulow is a contributing writer for Access My Library. AccessMyLibrary.com is a service of Thomson Gale. Best known for its accurate and authoritative reference content as well as its intelligent organization of full-text magazine and newspaper articles, the company creates and maintains more than 600 databases that are published online, in print, as eBooks and in microform. Visit Access My Library
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