Summer should be fun, but keeping your child safe can be a challenge. Get the most out of the seemingly briefest– and best– season in Michigan by following the advice of Beaumont Hospitals safety experts below:
Three words: Supervise, supervise, supervise
Children are less likely to practice risky behavior like jumping off a swing or popping a choking hazard into their mouth if you are standing right there.“Good supervision is the best injury prevention,” says Donna Bucciarelli, R.N., trauma prevention coordinator at Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak and program manager of Safety City, U.S.A.
|Life vests are essential for swimming, fishing and boating.|
Be especially vigilant around water
Playing in the water is a great way to beat the heat. But make sure your child is safe. Going fishing or boating? Make sure your child is wearing a life vest.“Sign your child up for swimming lessons, make sure pool and spa areas are secured with fences and alarms, and never leave your child unattended,” says Edward Walton, M.D., director of Pediatric Emergency Medicine at Beaumont Children’s Hospital in Royal Oak.
Create a“No Zone”
To prevent burns, use a jump rope or chalk to delineate a safe zone around a grill or campfire. Explain to children that they should not enter the zone for any reason.
Choose the right shoes for the right activities
Nothing says“no fun” like a summer cast. To prevent injuries, make sure your child is wearing the appropriate footwear for the activity.
Keep foods safe
Avoid mayonnaise or cream-based foods and make sure there is plenty of ice to keep cold foods at the right temperature. For the meats, look for juices to run clear before serving them to children.
Leave the fireworks to the professionals
“Most parents would never dream of handing their child a lit match, but don’t think twice about handing a sparkler to a three year old,” says Dr. Walton. Bypass the backyard display in favor of community-sponsored fireworks.
Be mindful of safety when mowing
Always be aware of where young children are when mowing the lawn; accidents have occurred from flying debris as well as from parents accidentally running their children over. Never let a child ride on a riding lawn mower.
Make safety gear a necessity, not an option
It’s a fact: helmets save lives. If your child kicks up a fuss over wearing a helmet while wheeling around, be prepared to play tough. A broken bone can be fixed, but brain and spine injuries can last a lifetime.
Avoid the burn
At least 30 minutes before heading outdoors, coat your child in a lotion with a sun protection factor of 30 to 45; reapply if the child swims or sweats. Keep babies under six months of age out of the sun or use lotion on their face and hands only to prevent overheating.
Be aware of the weather
Unpredictable storms are as much a part of summer in Michigan as the Detroit Tigers. Teach your child what to do and where to go in the event of a severe storm.