Safe Summer Fun
The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and Safe Kids Worldwide help kids stay safe in all seasons. The CPSC estimates that in 2012 there were 94,900 hospital emergency room treated injuries as a result of trampoline mishaps. When jumping on trampolines, accidents can happen by colliding with another person, landing improperly while jumping or doing stunts, falling or jumping off the trampoline or falling on the trampoline springs or frame. There are precautions that jumpers and parents can take in order to help prevent sprains, bruises, fractures and other more serious injuries. The American Academy of Pediatrics states that if you choose to own a trampoline, the following safety precautions are highly recommended:
• Allow only one person on the trampoline at a time.
• Don’t attempt or allow somersaults because landing on the head or neck can cause paralysis.
• Don’t use trampolines without shock absorbing pads that completely cover sprints, hooks and frame
• Place the trampoline away from structures, trees and other play areas
• Do not allow children under 6 to use a full size trampoline. Remove ladders and any other means by which a small child could access the trampoline surface.
• Always have adult supervision when the trampoline is in use
• Trampoline enclosures can help prevent injuries from falls off the trampoline.
As an added precaution, parents should check their homeowner’s policy and obtain a rider to cover trampoline-related injuries if not included in the basic policy.
Summertime is also a great time to take to the water, whether it’s a backyard pool, community pool, ocean, lake or other natural body of water. Kids and water just seem to go together! Around any body of water where kids are swimming, it’s imperative that adults give them their undivided attention.
Unfortunately, drowning is the leading cause of death for children ages 1-4. This age range is more likely to drown in a swimming pool. Children 5 and older are more likely to drown in natural water like a lake, pond or river. But the good news is drowning is preventable! It all goes back to adult supervision of new or young swimmers or children learning to swim.
Here are some top tips on how to keep your water babies safe during swim season:
• Keep young children within arm’s reach of an adult and make sure older children swim with a buddy every time they are in the water.
• Teach children how to swim. Every child is different so enroll them in swim lessons when they are ready. Consider their age, development and how often they are around water.
• Never allow any one, especially children, to play breath-holding games because this could result in Shallow Water Blackout which can cause death.
• Help new swimmers develop these five water survival skills:
o Step or jump into water over their heads and return to the surface
o Float or tread water for one minute
o Turn around in a full circle and find an exit. Get out of the water and if in a pool do so without using the ladder.
o Teach children that swimming in open water is not the same as swimming in a pool. They need to be aware of uneven bottoms, river currents, ocean undertow and changing weather and water conditions.
It’s important to know what to do and how to act appropriately during an emergency. Learn CPR and basic water rescue skills that could help save a child’s life.
Kids just want to have fun and parents just want to have peace-of-mind. With the right information and the right preparation, both are possible.