As summertime kicks into full swing, outdoor play becomes a full time job for young children. Summertime is about being active, burning up excess energy and having fun, but it is also a time when we see a 15-27% increase in ER visits for children. Here are seven simple safety tips from PlaySafe.org to ensure that your child's summer is as safe as it is fun:
1. Make adult supervision a crucial part of outdoor play.
2. Watch near water. Kids should never be left alone near "kiddie" pools, swimming pools, beaches, lakes and other bodies of water, no matter what their ages or swim capabilities are. Children under 5 should always be at an arms-length from an adult near water sources.
3. Always keep toys away from unsupervised and high-traffic areas, like driveways and sidewalks, so they don’t lure a child into a dangerous situation.
4. Ride safe. Make sure your kids wear helmets, knee pads and other protective gear when playing with bikes, trikes, scooters and other ride-on toys. Accidental falls are the number one cause of childhood injury, according to the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control.
5. Organize and store toys to prevent slips, trips and falls. If you have access to a garage or outdoor shed, you can designate “parking” spaces for bikes and other ride-on toys, and store smaller items, like skateboards, on shelves.
6. Un-inflated balloons and broken balloon pieces can pose a choking hazard. At parties and other festive events, be sure to supervise children around latex balloons and throw away any broken pieces you find.
7. Be sure to check and follow age guidance on toy packaging. The age-grading doesn’t have anything to do with how smart your child is—it’s safety guidance that’s based on the developmental skills and abilities of children at a given age and the specific features of a toy.