Summer is here and that means family outdoor activities for kids and adults. Here are some simple rules to make outdoor activities happy and safe.
Children face many dangers when playing outside, the safety of children is important; playing in the playground, cycling, swimming, and skateboarding may all cause accidents and sometimes serious injury to the child. Simple planning and precautions will help reduce exposure to illness and trauma.
Swimming Pool and Water Safety
Kids love to play in the water and a backyard or public swimming pool is a fun way to spend a few summer hours. But there are water dangers that all parents should be aware of.
The obvious danger of playing in and around water is the chance of near-drowning or death from drowning. It should not need to be said but parents should never leave children unattended at a swimming or paddling pool. No matter what their age!
Take precautions like installing a fence around a backyard swimming pool – it should be of sufficient height that the child can not climb into the pool. Install a self-closing and self-locking gate or door too. Pool alarms are available that sound when the water is disturbed or the gate is opened. In public pools never allow children to run around as the chances of slipping and injury are great not to mention the possibility of drowning or near-drowning.
Safety in the Playground
Before letting children onto playground equipment make sure that it is safe. On summer days surfaces can become hot and cause burns to exposed skin; test the surface of swing seats, handrails, slides, and the rest.
Make sure that the ground around the equipment is covered with safe material that prevents or reduces the incidence of serious injury. The surface should be of rubber or wood mulch. Grass dries out in summer and the ground beneath can be rock hard. Concrete and tarmac or asphalt surfaces are definitely to be avoided. Mulch or rubber mats reduce the risk of head injury if a fall occurs.
Do not allow children to wear open-toed shoes or jackets and jeans that have strings or chains hanging from them.
Cycling Helmets Prevent Head Injury
Helmets prevent numerous cases of head injury every year. It is important to ensure that the child is wearing a cycling helmet of the right size for his or her age. Helmets approved by a national safety council are best. Riding a bike that is too small or too big for the child means that the child does not have proper control of the vehicle in motion. A bike suitable for the age and build of the child will prevent accidents. To check whether last year’s buy is still suitable, the child should straddle the bike with both feet on the ground. A gap of one to three inches between bar and crotch is considered safe to ride and a suitable size.
The same rules apply to skateboards as to bicycles. Kids should always wear helmets, knee protectors and appropriate footwear will prevent injuries while dashing around the skateboard park. Ensure that the child attends a safety course and that skateboarding is done only in specially designed facilities that are staffed by competent and experienced people and at least one trained first aider is on duty at all times.
Safety while playing is easily overlooked but many children suffer minor scrapes and injuries requiring visits to accident and emergency departments. Some unfortunate children suffer more serious injuries that may maim for life and even kill. Following the above simple rules with regards to water, playground, cycling, and skateboarding safety will prevent accidental injury and perhaps the death of a child.