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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Keep Your Little Ones Safe in the Water

Summer is just around the corner! To ensure your kids have a fun – and safe – time in the water this season, check out this Q&A with CHOC Children’s Community Education Coordinator, Michelle Lubahn.

Q: What is the most important thing you can tell parents about water safety?
A: Make sure you keep an eye on your kids even if there is a lifeguard on duty. Children need constant supervision in and around water. Designate an official “water watcher” to make sure someone is keeping an eye out at all times.

Q: What are some effective pool protection measures?
A: It’s important to have multiple layers of protection. Kids are fast and can get into things in a matter of seconds. You may want to consider investing in fencing, gates, alarms, and covers for pools and spas.

Keep in mind other sources of danger too, such as bathtubs, toilets, buckets, ice chests, even dog dishes! A child can drown in as little as two inches of water; it happens quickly and silently, too. Latch the toilet seat, and never leave your child alone in the bathtub. Be sure to empty buckets and ice chests as soon as you’re finished with them.

Q: What about water safety tips while at the beach?
A: Watch for and adhere by rip current and weather condition signs posted at the beach. Swimming in the ocean should only be allowed when a lifeguard is on duty.  Also, never swim alone – even good swimmers need buddies!

For more tips, check out this video.

For more information, or to learn about water safety classes, please contact the CHOC Community Education Department at 714-509-8887.

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Water Safety Tips Every Parent Should Know

To beat the summer heat, many families will be heading to the pool to cool off this summer. To ensure your kids have a fun – and safe – time in the water, check out this Q&A with CHOC Children’s Community Education Coordinator, Michelle Lubahn, for some must-read tips.

Q: What is the most important thing you can tell parents about water safety?
A: Make sure you keep an eye on your kids even if there is a lifeguard on duty. Children need constant supervision in and around water. Designate an official “water watcher” to make sure someone is keeping an eye out at all times.

Q: What are some effective pool protection measures?
A: It’s important to have multiple layers of protection. Kids are fast and can get into things in a matter of seconds. You may want to consider investing in fencing, gates, alarms, and covers for pools and spas.

Keep in mind other sources of danger too, such as bathtubs, toilets, buckets, ice chests, even dog dishes! A child can drown in as little as two inches of water; it happens quickly and silently, too. Latch the toilet seat, and never leave your child alone in the bathtub. Be sure to empty buckets and ice chests as soon as you’re finished with them.

Q: What about water safety tips while at the beach?
A: Watch for and adhere by rip current and weather condition signs posted at the beach. Swimming in the ocean should only be allowed when a lifeguard is on duty.  Also, never swim alone – even good swimmers need buddies!

For more tips, check out this video: http://www.choc.org/video/index.cfm?vid=50.

Related articles:

  • Year-Round Water Safety Reminders
    By Justin Pick, pediatric resident at CHOC Children’s Living in Southern California affords us some of the best weather in the world, with year-round access to beaches, pools, and hot ...
  • The Dangers of Secondary Drowning
    By Dr. Georgie Pechulis, pediatric hospitalist at CHOC Children’s With Memorial Day weekend right around the corner, it generally signals the beginning of summer and the opening of the much-anticipated pool ...
  • 4 Water Safety Tips for a Safe Summer
    As temperatures start to rise, your family may be spending more time at the pool or the beach. Keep these water safety tips, straight from CHOC Children’s community education department, ...

Summer is coming – please practice water safety!

School is almost out, and I know that kids love to hit the pool, lake or beach during their summer vacations.  I urge all adults to follow the following water safety tips to ensure a safe and memorable summer:

  • Never leave children alone in or near water, even a shallow wading pool.  Children can drown in as little as one inch of water and it can happen in a matter of seconds. A child will lose consciousness two minutes after submersion, with irreversible brain damage occurring within four to six minutes.
  • Assign a “water watcher” who knows how to swim and can provide supervision of children in the water.
  •  Place pool safety barriers, such as isolation fences, self-closing and self-latching locks, and pool covers, between your child and the pool.
  •  Never assume your child is “drown-proof,” even if the child has had swimming lessons.
  • Place a phone, life-saving ring and shepherds hook at poolside.
  • Remove toys in and around the pool when it’s not in use to avoid any temptation for your child.
  • Drain waters from wading pools and water buckets when not being used.
  • Flotation devices, such as water wings, are considered toys and are not a substitute for adult supervision.
  • Water safety also includes sun safety.  Make sure your children are wearing waterproof sunscreen of at least SPF 30.  Protect feet from hot sand and sharp objects by having them wear water-safe shoes.

To learn more about water safety or to have a staff member from CHOC Children’s Community Education Department come to your group of parents and caregivers of children under the age of 5, please call 714-532-8887.  This program is generously provided by the CA Kids Plate Program.