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Playing it Safe During the Summer Months

While parents and kids may think of summer as the season for fun, staff members at hospital emergency rooms refer to it as "trauma season." More unintentional childhood deaths and injuries occur between the months of May and August than any other time of the year.

By implementing the precautions that follow from the National SAFE KIDS Campaign, you can help fill your summer with trips to the park, not the emergency room.

Backyard Basics
* Supervise children, even if they are "only in the backyard"
* Make sure all fences and gates are secure and repaired
* Remove poisonous plants. Keep ipecac syrup or activated charcoal on hand, but use only after consulting a physician, poison control center, or emergency medical personnel.
* Keep tools, including garden tools, out of children's reach
* Bring children inside periodically for plenty of water and rest
* Make sure children use sunscreen of SPF 15 or greater

Neighborhood Knowledge
* Never let children under age 10 cross streets alone. Remind them to use crosswalks, and to look left, right and left again for traffic when crossing the street
* Ensure that neighborhood play areas are free of rusted or broken equipment an dangerous hard surfaces
* Warn children that garages, construction sites, abandoned buildings/cars, railroad tracks, dumpsters, waterfronts, and unsupervised swimming areas are strictly off-limits

Safety on Wheels
* Purchase an approved bicycle helmet for each child, and insist that the helmet be worn correctly every time the child goes for a ride
* Teach your children safe bicycling practices. Have them participate in local bicycle safety events. Visit SafetyCops KIDS ON BIKES for more tips.
* Make sure that the bicycle works properly-brakes, gears, tires and reflectors
* Make sure your child's bicycling environment is safe; encourage using bicycle paths
* Have your children wear bright-colored clothing so drivers can spot them more easily

Safe Swimming
* Make sure pools and spas are secure with a minimum of a 5 foot high, four-sided fence with self-closing and self-latching gate
* Never leave children alone in or near water, even wading pools
* Learn infant and child CPR
* Be aware of undercurrents, waves, and undertows when at the ocean or lake
* Do not let children dive into water unless an adult is present and he or she knows that the depth of the water is greater than 9 feet

Preventing Falls
* Do not let children sit or play in opened or screened windows. Screens can easily give way to a child's weight
* Keep unopened windows locked at all times

For more information on
National SAFE KIDS Campaign

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