I think all parents are concerned for the safety of their children in one way or another. With the coming of spring comes increasing activity outside. We received the following warm weather safety tips to remember as we all spend more time in the great outdoors. Most of them you probably already know, but even the most vigilant parents can appreciate reminders now and again.
Warm Weather Child Safety Tips from Fred Mills-Winkler
Technical Director for SGS Consumer Testing Services
1. Require helmets for biking, skating or skateboarding. And donâ€™t forget the knee pads and elbow pads for the last two activities. An estimated 95% percent of bicyclists killed in 2006 weren’t wearing helmets, and helmet use also dramatically reduces severity of head injury when a crash occurs.
2. Never leave a child unattended near a pool. In 2005, drowning was the cause of death for almost 30% of the children 1 to 4 years old who died, and fatal drowning remains the second-leading cause of unintentional injury-related death for children ages 1 to 14 years.
3. Restrict ball play to backyards or fenced enclosures, particularly for toddlers and preschoolers who might run into the street to chase an errant kick or throw.
4. Prevent tricycle or bicycle training accidents by purchasing trikes or bikes with handles that you can hold as you steer your child. Also beware of steep driveways, which present the risk of children rolling into traffic.
5. Train kids to use BB guns, archery sets and slingshots. Be sure they learn not to point them at people or animals, and supervise use of these toys until you are comfortable that children will use them responsibly.
6. Use parks to teach biking or skating rather than starting on your sidewalk. This will eliminate the danger of children accidentally rolling into the street before they learn to control their wheels.
7. Supervise fishing and camping activities, particularly the use of sharp tools and cooking Sâ€™Mores over a campfire.
8. Teach basic animal safety requirements, whether for domestic animals like dogs or wilder creatures like snakes that emerge in warmer weather.
9. Keep battery-powered cars on the sidewalk. Children with toy Jeeps or Barbie convertibles sometimes succumb to the temptation to show off their wheels on their quiet residential street, not realizing that drivers may not see them.
10. Be vigilant yourself, especially watching for children who might be playing in the driveway behind you when you pull out of your garage.