In Our Summer Safety Mini-Guide, Outdoor Summer Safety,we covered all things sun, water, and outdoors (like fireworks). This time, we focus on Summer Safety at Home- everything from the front of the house to the backyard. Remember to share these tips with all of those that will be around children. The more of us doing our part to keep kids safe, the better!
Never leave your child alone in a car. Leaving a child in a parked car can lead to heatstroke and can be fatal. In 10 minutes, the temperature of a vehicle can rise 19 degrees, making it extremely dangerous for children inside. According to statistics collected by Kids and Cars, on average 38 children die annually from being left in a hot car.
And make sure children are in an age- and size-appropriate child safety seat until their 8th birthday. Safety seats must be properly used and approved by Department of Transportation standards.
There are a lot of dangers around our homes or homes we may be visiting during the summertime. Be vigilant and think about how you can make each of these situations safer for your children.
According to the National Safety Council, windows are one of the top 5 hidden hazards in our homes. In the warmer months, we tend to open them up a little more. A few basic tips: all windows need to be properly secured. If windows are open, make sure that screens are closed and children cannot climb onto anything to get out the window.
Driveways can be a blank slate for chalk drawings, a place to shoot hoops, or to ride a bike. Keep your children safe by using cones or a blockade of sorts at the end of the driveway to prevent cars from pulling in and to give them a visual boundary before darting out into traffic. Talk to them about what they should do if a ball does roll into the street as well as where they are allowed to ride their bikes, scooters, or skateboards.
Make sure to also alert anyone who has a vehicle in the driveway to check all around to make sure that a child is not behind the vehicle as they backout. Many vehicles are equipped with rearview cameras but that still does not mean that every area can be clearly seen by the driver.
Keep children away from grills and fire pits and keep the grills and fire pits at least 10 feet away from any structures (home, camper, tent, shed). SafeHome.org also recommends having water nearby (a bucket or hose) to be extra safe and extinguish any embers that might get picked up by the wind. Never leave an open flame or hot surface unattended or allow children to run around and play near them.
BONUS TIP: This is a great time to make sure everyone knows your family’s fire safety plan.
- Lawn Mowers
Lawn mowers seem to be a rite of passage for kids, but they are extremely dangerous. Keep these tips in mind when you are operating a lawn mower OR are thinking about letting your teen add it to their chores.
Even if the lawn mower is not in use, do not allow children to play on or near it. They need to learn it is not a toy. This goes for a push mower, one with a blade, or a riding lawn mower.
If your child is under the age of 5, keep them inside if the lawn mower is in use. You may not hear them, something may shoot out from the blades and hurt them, and whether electric or gas – they are just too dangerous for little ones.
Don’t let children between the ages of 5 and 12 “help” mow the lawn by walking with you or next to you.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends children be at least 12 years old before operating a power mower. Make sure they know how to do it properly and that you have supervised them a few times.
Nothing beats the summer heat like a swimming pool! Above ground, in ground, inflatable, portable, water slides – so many choices and so many things to think about to keep kids safe. Here are some basic safety tips, no matter the pool scene:
- Wear appropriate swimwear
- No running
- If possible, swim where there is a lifeguard
- Follow all posted rules
- When not in use, keep pools secured behind a locked gate, remove ladders, and remove any floating toys and rafts
- Always have a non-distracted adult watching over children who are swimming.
For additional water safety tips, read our Summer Safety Mini Guide, Outdoor Summer Safety
BONUS TIP: Keep pool chemicals locked up and out of reach!
- Swing sets and Trampolines
Swing sets, playgrounds and trampolines can provide lots of summer fun and memories, too. In addition to making sure that all of the equipment is secure and in proper working order, the biggest safety tip is to supervise children while they are playing and assist them when needed. According to SafeHome.org, the most common sources of summertime product injuries for children come from playground equipment and trampolines.
BONUS TIP: If the equipment is metal – it will be extra hot and can burn your child’s skin!