Have a Safe Summer!

Summer is in full swing, and it’s all about safety this season, whether your family is enjoying a fun day at the beach, or a barbecue in your backyard! Check out these helpful reminders to ensure your little ones have a fun and safe summer. Don’t forget to check back on the CHOC Blog for more summer safety guidelines.

Be Aware of Pool, Spa Dangers

Drowning is the second-leading cause of unintentional injury-related death in children ages 1 to 14. Nothing replaces constant supervision. However, layers of protection like fences, door and window alarms, and pool covers will buy you precious seconds if you are momentarily distracted. Here are other important things to know about pool and spa safety:

• Stay away from the drain — Hair and body parts may become entrapped by the drain’s powerful suction. If you have a pool or spa, have it checked by a professional. A professionally installed “anti-vortex” drain cover may help minimize the risk.
• Never swim alone — And that goes for grownups, too.
• Invite a “Water Watcher” to all pool parties — Designate one adult to watch the water at all times. Ask another to watch the children. It’s simple, and it can avert a tragedy.

Protect Your Child’s Skin

Deadly skin cancers are being diagnosed at increasingly younger ages. Researchers have linked this alarming trend to childhood sun exposure. Protective steps you take now will pay off in the years to come:

• Slop it on — Apply 30 SPF sunscreen every day. Cover all exposed skin, including hands, ears and the back of the neck. Reapply after swimming or if your child perspires excessively.
• Keep it cool — Schedule outdoor activities before 10 a.m. or after 2 p.m.
• Cover up — Outfit your children with broadbrimmed hats and protective clothing that covers the arms and legs.
• Protect those peepers — Choose real (not toy) sunglasses with polarized lenses for your children.

Play It Safe

Your local playground is a great place to get exercise. First, take a moment to make sure it is safe:

• Check for hidden hazards — Look carefully for razor blades, broken glass, insects or snakes.
• Examine the equipment — Stay away from any with sharp points or broken edges. Avoid swings that have “S” hooks at the bottom of the seat.
• Ensure a soft landing — Make sure play equipment has at least 12 inches of mulch, wood chips, sand or pea gravel, or mats made of safety-tested rubber.
• Remove all strings — Never let your child play on equipment while wearing a backpack or clothing with strings.

For more information about summer safety, visit www.choc.org. CHOC Community Education offers “Three Tragic Seconds,” a pool safety class for parents and caregivers. To schedule a presentation, please call CHOC Community Education at (714) 509-8887.

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