School’s out and kids are home looking for ways to entertain themselves. Before letting them loose, consider the hidden dangers of summer fun, warns a watchdog group.
Nearly half of all injury-related deaths to children occur during the summer months, according to the World Against Toys Causing Harm, Inc. The group notes that hospital emergency rooms will see about 2.7 million injured children from accidents this summer and wants to highlight what it sees as the biggest dangers to your tikes.
Water safety is an obvious issue, especially during Fourth of July celebrations when adults may be busy grilling, mingling or having a beer while their children play in the pool.
Between 2010 and 2012, an average of 26 children drowned in pools and spas over the Fourth of July week. Almost nine in 10 fatal drownings to children under 5 years old happened at someone’s home.
The Red Cross offers these poolside tips for safe swimming:
- Secure the pool with a four-foot fence with a self-closing, self-latching gate.
- Consider a pool alarm that is set off when someone enters the pool.
- Supervise children at all times. No swimming alone.
- Young or inexperienced swimmers should use a U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket.
- Enforce safe behaviors, with such rules as “no diving” and “no running.”
- Make sure everyone at home knows how to deal with pool emergencies by having safety equipment and taking water safety, first aid and CPR courses.
“Drowning is often quick and silent,” said Joan Siff, president of W.A.T.C.H, in a statement. “Keep your guard up and review water safety precautions to help keep kids safe around water this summer.”