Editorial: Take precautions to keep children safe during their school break

Jun. 09, 2013 @ 11:29 PM

With school out and summer almost here, chidlren will be more visible and more active in the outdoors. While many kids choose to stay inside and engage in passive activities like games and TV watching, others are encouraged to get outside and play.

That means motorists have to be aware that children could be present on streets and in neighborhoods where little ones usually are not seen during the day. In addition, kids participate in summer activities like swimming, where basic skills are needed. And it means children could be outside when it gets hot, and when the sun and drinking water becomes essential.

Here are some tips from the Centers for Disease Control on how to keep young ones safe and happy with school out:

Master water safety

  • Protect yourself and your kids in the water where you swim and play.
  • Help prevent recreational water illnesses.
  • Stay safe while boating.
  • Wear life jackets and prevent drowning.

Beat the heat

  • The best defense is prevention. Those at greatest risk of heat-related illness include infants and children up to 4 years of age.
  • Prevent heat-related illness.
  • Protect children from harmful ultraviolet rays of the sun.

Child injuries

  • Injuries are the leading cause of death in children aged 19 and younger. Play it safe on the playground. Each year in the United States, emergency departments treat more than 200,000 children aged 14 and younger for playground-related injuries.
  • Learn what to do if a concussion occurs. A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head that can change the way your brain normally works.
  • Stay smart around the house by following tips on fire prevention, microwave use, and living with pets.
  • Help working teens learn about safety and health on the job.

Sunburn

  • Limit sun exposure, especially between the hours of 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.
  • Wear protective clothing, and use sunscreen.
  • Babies younger than 6 months should be kept out of direct sunlight. If that is not possible, sunscreen may be applied to small areas including their faces and backs of their hands after testing to see if the baby is sensitive by trying a small amount on the baby’s wrist. For older children, sunscreen should be applied liberally 30 minutes before going outdoors and reapplied at least every two hours, more often if sweating or getting in and out of the water.
  • Use water-resistant sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30.