Learn how to keep your family safe and how to prevent harm to your child during summertime activities. The single most important must is adult supervision no matter what the activity.

The most common summertime child injuries result from falls, bicycle accidents, burns from campfires and fireworks, motor vehicles, and water hazards at pools, beaches, and lakes.

Here are some important tips.

Falls:

Playgrounds

  • Make sure:
    • Playground equipment is age appropriate.
    • Surface around playground equipment should be made of wood chips, mulch, sand, pea gravel, or poured in place rubber. (NOT concrete, asphalt, grass, black top, packed dirt or rocks.)
  • Play responsibly, no pushing or roughhousing while on the equipment.
  • Take turns, one person at a time on a swing, slide, or monkey bars.
  • Remind children to sit down while swinging and slow down before getting off.
  • Avoid walking near someone who is swinging or keep a safe distance from others who are swinging.
  • Climbing up the front of the slide is not acceptable.
  • Look before you jump or slide; make sure no one is below you.

Windows

  • Do not allow children to play near windows, balconies, or decks.
  • Keep furniture and other climbing hazards away from windows, balconies, and decks.
  • Window screens are not a safety device; screens keep bugs out, not children in.
  • Keep windows closed and locked when children are around. Install and maintain window and door safety devices.
  • Make sure landscaping underneath windows will help lessen the impact of a fall if one does occur.
  • Do not underestimate children's mobility and how quickly they can learn.

Bicycle safety

  • Wear a bike helmet and make sure it fits correctly for you and your child.
  • Use appropriate helmets for different activities. Proper equipment and maintenance are important. Actively supervise and teach your children to stay alert at all times.
  • Model and teach good behavior and the rules of the road. Be bright, use lights. Use reflectors, headlights, and bright clothes to make you seen.

Burns/overheating:

Sunburns

  • Seek shade especially during midday hours.
  • Wear clothing to protect exposed skin.
  • Wear a hat with a wide brim to shade the face, head, ears, and neck.
  • Use sunscreen with sun protective factor(SPF) 15 or higher and has both UVA and UVB protection.
  • Wear sunglasses that wrap around and block as close to 100% of both UVA and UVB rays as possible.
  • Avoid indoor tanning.

Outdoor cooking

Although a fun way to prepare food, make sure safety is a priority.

  • Mark a "Kid Free" zone extending 10 feet from the fire on all sides.
  • Make sure charcoal lighters are kept out of reach of children.
  • Never add charcoal starter fluid to hot or warm coals.
  • Don't ever use gasoline to start or strengthen a charcoal grill fire.

Campfire safety rules

  • Use designated fire pits.
  • Clear ground around fire.
  • Build fire down wind.
  • Never leave fire unattended.
  • Never use flammable liquid.
  • Keep water or fire extinguisher nearby. Douse fire with water when finished.

Motor vehicle heat safety

  • A child left alone in a car can overheat 5x faster than an adult.
  • Withing 10 minutes, the interior temperature can rise 20 degrees even with the window "cracked".
  • Never leave a child or pet alone in a vehicle.
  • Put sun shades in back and front windows.
  • Beware of hot surfaces (seat belt buckles, vinyl seats)
  • Put something in the back seat of your vehicle - cell phone, employee badge, handbag, etc. - so that you don't forget that you have a child in the back seat.

Water safety:

Lock

  • Put up a fence that is at least 4 feet high and surrounds all sides of the pool or spa. The fence should have a gate with a lock that closes and latches by itself.
  • Use door, gate and pool alarms.
  • Teach children not to play or swim near pool or spa drain.
  • Use approved safety drain covers and back up devices.

Look

  • Always watch children when they are in or near water. Don't be distracted by phone calls, text messages, reading or talking to others.
  • Watch children even if they know how ot swim.
  • Children who can't swim or can't swim well should be within your reach.
  • Keep a phone near you - use it only to call for help if there is an emergency.
  • If a child is missing check the water first.

Learn

  • Both adults and children should know how to swim.
  • Learn when to use U.S. Coast Guard approved life jacket.
  • Learn how to use rescue equipment.
  • Learn CPR.