Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Keeping Your Kids Safe This Summer

Summer is the best time to be a kid. It’s the season of beach weekends, camping trips, sun bathing, and long days at the pool. Unfortunately, it’s also the season of riptides, spider bites, sunburns and swimmer’s ear. Injuries, illnesses, and accidents can quickly transform a fun day in the sun into a harrowing – and expensive – trip to the emergency room. Here are a few tips to help prevent some of these summer mishaps and keep the good times rolling.

Emergency room sign

Watch the water

Water safety is no small concern when it comes to protecting your kids this summer. According to reports released by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission , 137 children under 15 years old drowned in a pool or spa during the summer of 2012. According to the report, fifty-four of these fatalities occurred soon after the child moved away from a nearby adult. Talk to your children about the importance of staying close while swimming, and make sure you always keep your kids in clear sight. This is especially important when visiting the beach or a lake, since these places are not usually monitored by a lifeguard.

You may also want to learn about what drownings actually look like. They are less noticeable than many people might assume, which is why parental vigilance is so essential around bodies of water.

Children in water

Watch for critters

Summer is the season of mosquitos, spiders and ticks, oh my! It is a good idea to wear bug repellant when spending extended time outdoors, so go ahead and stock up on your family’s supply. In addition, here are a few other tips to help you deal with unexpected critter appearances this summer:

  • Remember to check your children for ticks on a fairly regular basis, especially since they can often go unnoticed.
  • If you find a tick on your child’s skin, do not panic. Instead, remove the tick immediately with a pair of tweezers. Contrary to popular belief, it is NOT a good idea to use a hot match, kerosene or petroleum to remove a tick. Once removed, you should save the tick for identification, in case your child develops symptoms and needs to see a doctor.
  • You should take your child to a doctor if he or she develops a fever, headache, rash or any other symptoms following a tick bite.
  • Spiders! They may be gross, but the good news about spiders is that only a few species have dangerous bites. The spiders you most need to look out for are the black widow and the brown recluse spider. If you suspect your child has been bitten by one of these spiders, apply ice to the bite to slow absorption of the venom. You should then seek medical attention for proper treatment.
Tick on finger

Stay safe indoors, too

Home safety can sometimes be overlooked when thinking about how to keep kids safe this summer, but the security of your home is an important aspect of summer safety. If your children are the appropriate age, they may spend quite a few hours at home with little to no adult supervision this summer. Make sure your kids know they should never answer the door for strangers. It is also a good idea to keep a list of phone numbers for neighbors or nearby family friends who your children could call if they ever ran into an emergency at home.

Now may also be a good time to invest in a home security system, especially if you are planning to go on family vacations and will be periodically leaving your home empty. If you decide to get a security system, make sure you teach your children how to operate the system to ensure it is used effectively and to avoid false alarms.

Keeping summer fun

A safe summer is a fun summer. Taking a few key precautions can help keep your family both happy and healthy this summer, ensuring that it is a memorable season for all the right reasons.

Brian Jones
Guest Writer
Brian is the father of three beautiful kids and has been writing about personal safety for as long as he has been a dad. Feel free to reach out to him on Twitter

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