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Summer Safety

Summer is a time of going to the playground, swimming, boating, biking, camping and other outdoor activities. Unfortunately, in addition to being a lot of fun for children, these activities can lead to a higher risk of injuries.

To public health and medical professionals, summer is often known as “trauma season” because unintentional deaths and serious injuries among children increase dramatically during these months.

Since learning how to avoid accidents can prevent many of these injuries, our summer safety campaign serves to share tips related to playground, swimming, boating, lawn mower and fire safety. Children’s educational activity books are also available to help families learn how to keep children safe during the summer.

Every year, emergency departments treat more than 200,000 children ages 14 and younger for playground-related injuries.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Tips to Stay Safe and Fill Your Summer with Fun

Playground Basics

The Centers for Disease Control reported that every year emergency departments treat more than 200,000 children ages 14 and younger for playground-related injuries.*

Before your kids head outside to play, be sure to keep these precautions in mind:

  • Choose parks and playgrounds that are appropriate for the child’s age.
  • Teach children that pushing and shoving on the playground can result in accidents and injuries.
  • Make sure your child always wears shoes to protect feet from cuts, scrapes, splinters and pavement burns, and wears sunscreen to protect from sunburns and harmful ultraviolet rays.
  • Parents should supervise children on play equipment at all times.
  • The playground should have safety-tested mats or loose-fill materials (shredded rubber, sand, wood chips or bark) maintained to a depth of at least 9 inches (6 inches for shredded rubber). The protective surface should be installed at least 6 feet (more for swings and slides) in all directions from the equipment.
  • Equipment should be carefully maintained. Open "S" hooks or protruding bolt ends can be hazardous.
  • Swing seats should be made of soft materials such as rubber, plastic or canvas.
  • Remind children to swing sitting down. Encourage them to wait until the swing stops before getting off and to be careful when walking in front of moving swings.
  • Remind kids to go down the slide one at a time and to wait until the slide is completely clear before taking their turn. Teach them to always sit facing forward with their legs straight in front of them. Insist they NEVER slide down headfirst!
  • Make sure children cannot reach any moving parts that might pinch or trap any body part.
  • Metal, rubber and plastic products can get very hot in the summer, especially under direct sun.
    • Make sure slides are cool to prevent children's legs from getting burned.
    • Reminder: Do not allow children to play barefoot on the playground.

* Sources: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and healthychildren.org

Trampoline Awareness

  • It is recommended that parents never purchase a home trampoline or allow children to use a home trampoline because of the risk of serious injury even when supervised.
  • Surrounding trampoline netting offers a false sense of security and does not prevent many trampoline-related injuries. Most injuries happen on the trampoline, not from falling off.
  • If children are jumping on a trampoline, they should be supervised by a responsible adult, and only one child should be on the trampoline at a time; 75% of trampoline injuries occur when more than one person is jumping at a time.*
  • Homeowners should verify that their insurance policies cover trampoline-related claims. Coverage is highly variable and a rider may need to be obtained.

* Source: healthychildren.org

Lawn Mower Safety

While a lawn mower may seem like just a common household tool, thousands of children are injured in lawn mower accidents each year, some severely. Lawn mower injuries account for a large percentage of accidental amputations, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. The speed of the blade can send dirt and bacteria deep into a wound, creating a high risk for severe infection.

Most lawn mower-related injuries can be prevented by following some simple safety guidelines.

Please keep these tips in mind:

  • Keep children out of the yard while mowing. Children should not be allowed to walk or play near a lawn mower in use.
  • Teach children to stay away from all lawn mowers, even those that are not currently in use.
  • Never allow a child, or any other passenger, to ride on a mower, even with parents or other adults. Doctors commonly see children with severe injuries to their feet caused by riding on the back of a rider mower with a parent or grandparent.
  • Only use a mower with a control that stops the mower blade from moving if the handle is let go.
  • Children younger than 16 years should not be allowed to use ride-on mowers.
  • Children younger than 12 years should not use walk-behind mowers.
  • Always wear sturdy, closed-toed shoes while mowing the lawn – do not wear sandals.
  • Prevent injuries from flying objects, such as stones or toys, by picking up objects from the lawn before mowing begins.
  • Have anyone who uses a mower wear hearing and eye protection.
  • Do not pull the mower backward or mow in reverse unless absolutely necessary, and carefully look for children behind you when you mow in reverse.
  • Riding mowers should have the reverse switch behind the driver, forcing the driver to look behind when placing the machine in reverse.
  • Always turn off the mower and wait for the blades to stop completely before removing the grass catcher, unclogging the discharge chute, or crossing gravel paths, roads or other areas.
  • Drive up and down slopes, not across, to prevent mower rollover.
  • Keep guards, shields, switches and safety devices in proper working order at all times.
  • If children must be in the vicinity of running lawn mowers, they should wear polycarbonate protective eye wear at all times.

Sources: American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and healthychildren.org

Conseils de sécurité avec Fezzy sur la sécurité des tondeuses à gazon 2016

Voir la transcription

Fezzy : Bonjour! Bienvenue aux conseils de sécurité avec Fezzy. L’épisode d’aujourd’hui est d’une importance sociale incroyable, car nous parlerons de…

Conférencier 2 : Papa?

Fezzy : Oui?

Conférencier 2 : Maman dit que tu dois tondre la pelouse.

Fezzy : La pelouse? Mais je l’ai fait hier. À quel point je l’ai mal fait?

Conférencier 2 : C’est le printemps.

Fezzy : Ah, pas si vite. Je pense que c’est une excellente occasion pour toi d’apprendre la sécurité des tondeuses à gazon.

Fezzy : D’accord, je vais chercher la tondeuse à gazon, mais avant de pouvoir tondre, nous devons nous assurer que la cour est dégagée. Ton travail consiste à ramasser tous les jouets et tous les objets qui traînent. Voilà, utilise ceci pour me tenir au courant de tes progrès.

Conférencier 2 : Mission amorcée.

Conférencier 2 : La mission se déroule comme prévu.

Fezzy : Oh, super.

Conférencier 2 : Tu as oublié de dire…

Fezzy : Ah, c’est vrai. Je suis arrivé au cabanon, alors assure-toi de rester à l’écart pendant que je sors la tondeuse à gazon.

Conférencier 2 : Parce que cela compromettrait la mission?

Fezzy : Exactement. Il n’est pas sécuritaire pour les enfants d’être autour des tondeuses à gazon.

Conférencier 2 : Compris, papa. À bientôt.

Girafe : Eh bien, bonjour, voisin.

Fezzy : Salut!

Girafe : Tu utilises toujours cette vieille machine, n’est-ce pas? Regarde la mienne, elle est toute nouvelle. C’est chouette. Où est Fern? Est-ce qu’elle va t’aider à tondre ou quoi?

Fezzy : Elle nettoie l’autre côté de la pelouse. Elle doit avoir 12 ans avant de pouvoir utiliser la tondeuse.

Girafe : Oh, ça va. Mon jeune homme ici veut utiliser la tondeuse à gazon, n’est-ce pas? Mais tu dois avoir 16 ans avant de pouvoir opérer l’une d’elles en toute sécurité. OK, alors pourquoi ne retournes-tu pas à l’intérieur? Essaie le basket-ball l’été prochain.

Conférencier 2 : La mission est en cours.

Conférencier 2 : Papa, c’est [inaudible 00:02:36]. Les otages restants ont été retrouvés.

Fezzy : Dieu merci. Cela te dérangerait-il de ramasser les gros bâtons ou les roches sur le chemin du retour? Il faut aussi les ramasser.

Conférencier 2 : Un seau à miel.

Fezzy : Voilà ce que j’appelle un travail bien fait.

Fezzy : Eh bien, au moins, nous pouvons gagner jusqu’à demain. Il n’est pas prudent de tondre de l’herbe mouillée.

Soleil : Hé, laissez-moi vous aider.

Fezzy : Merci.

Fezzy : Hé, les enfants, nous avons beaucoup appris aujourd’hui, n’est-ce pas? Tondre la pelouse est une corvée importante, mais gardez à l’esprit que les tondeuses à gazon peuvent être dangereuses. Pour les jeunes enfants, la règle la plus importante est de rester à l’écart des tondeuses à gazon. Vous devez avoir 12 ans pour utiliser une tondeuse et 16 ans pour utiliser une tondeuse autoportée. Si vous voulez aider, mais que vous n’êtes pas assez vieux pour être près de la tondeuse, demandez à vos parents si vous pouvez aider à nettoyer la cour à l’avance, comme les jouets, les bâtons, les pierres et d’autres objets qui pourraient être un danger potentiel. Les ranger rend tout le monde plus en sécurité. Vous pouvez même en faire un jeu comme ma fille Fern l’a fait plus tôt.

Conférencier 2 : Oui, vous pouvez aussi aider en rappelant à vos parents de rester en sécurité. Aidez-les à se rappeler de porter une chemise à manches longues, un pantalon long, des gants, des chaussures à bout fermé et des lunettes de sécurité cool comme celles de mon père.

Fezzy : Assurez-vous simplement d’entrer à l’intérieur avant que la tonte ne commence réellement et d’y rester tant qu’elle est en cours d’exécution. Et rappelez-vous, appelez le 911 en cas d’urgence.

Conférencier 2 : Une fois la tonte terminée, vous pouvez vous amuser et jouer dans votre belle cour propre.

Fezzy : C’est tout pour le moment. Soyez intelligent et restez en sécurité.

Conférencier 2 : Soyez intelligent et restez en sécurité.

Additional Guidelines for a Safe Summer

Swimming and Water Play

While playing poolside may be a blast, Safe Kids Worldwide Organization reports that drowning is the leading injury-related cause of death for children ages 1-4, and it is the third leading cause of injury-related death among children 19 and under.*

Additionally, diving is the fifth leading cause of spinal cord injury for men and women, according to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center, with 29% of injuries affecting children up to age 18.**

Supervision and common sense can go a long way to prevent accidents and injuries. Always practice these tips to ensure your family’s safety around water:

  • Watch kids when they are in or around water, without being distracted. Young children can drown in as little as one inch of water, so it’s important to keep them within an arm’s reach of an adult.
  • Empty tubs, buckets, containers and kids’ pools immediately after use. Store them upside down and out of children’s reach.
  • Close lids and doors. Keep toilet lids and doors to bathrooms and laundry rooms closed when not in use.
  • Install fences around home pools. A pool fence should surround all sides of the pool and be at least four feet tall with self-closing and self-latching gates.
  • Learn CPR and basic water rescue skills. It is important to know how to respond in an emergency without putting yourself at risk.
  • The best way to enter the water is ALWAYS feet first.
  • Never dive into the shallow end of a pool.

* Sources: Safe Kids Worldwide and Shepherd Center

** Shepherd Center

Boating and Other Water Safety

Boating, tubing and other water sports can be great fun, but can also be dangerous. Where cause of death was known, 80% of fatal boating accident victims drowned. Of those drowning victims with reported life jacket usage, 83% were not wearing a life jacket.*

Here is what you can do to enjoy time on the water safely:

  • Children should wear life jackets at all times when on boats, docks or near bodies of water.
  • Make sure the life jacket is the right size for your child. The jacket should not be loose and should always be worn as instructed with all straps belted.
  • Blow-up water wings, toys, rafts and air mattresses should not be used as life jackets or personal flotation devices. Adults should wear life jackets for their own protection and to set a good example.
  • Adolescents and adults need to be aware of the dangers of boating, even as a passenger, when under the influence of alcohol, drugs and some prescription medications.
  • Children follow your example! Whenever you are on a boat – everyone should wear a life jacket.

*Recreational Boating Statistics, U.S. Coast Guard (2016)

Source: healthychildren.org

Grilling, Fire and Fireworks Safety

Fire/burn-related injuries are among the leading 10 causes of unintentional injury in children ages 0 to 5, with children 2 and younger at greatest risk. Every day, 300 children ages 0 to 19 are treated in emergency departments for burn-related injuries.* During the summer, children are more likely to be exposed to some specific burn hazards.

Use these tips to keep children safe around fires, fireworks, grills and other heat sources:

Grilling and fire safety tips:

  • Teach kids to never play with matches, gasoline, lighter fluid or lighters. Make a habit of placing these items up and away from young children.
  • Position the grill well away from siding, deck railings, out from under eaves and overhanging branches and a safe distance from lawn games, play areas and foot traffic.
  • Keep children and pets away from the grill area by declaring a 3-foot "kid-free zone" around the grill.
  • Keep all matches and lighters away from children. Teach your children to report any loose matches or lighters to an adult immediately.
  • Do not leave children unattended near grills, campfires, fire pits or bonfires. Always have a bucket of water or fire extinguisher nearby whenever there is a burning fire.

Fireworks safety:

  • Fireworks can result in severe burns, blindness, scars and even death.
  • Fireworks that are often thought to be safe, such as sparklers, can reach temperatures above 1000 degrees Fahrenheit, and can burn users and bystanders.
  • Families should attend community fireworks displays run by professionals rather than using fireworks at home.
  • The AAP recommends prohibiting public sale of all fireworks, including those by mail or the Internet.

Call 911 when appropriate or take your child to a doctor or hospital immediately if he or she is injured in a fire or by fireworks. 

Sources: *Safe Kids Worldwide and healthychildren.org


Key Safety Tips

Summer is a time for kids to have fun outdoors, but these activities can lead to a higher risk of injuries.

Choose age-appropriate parks/playgrounds and supervise children at all times.

Only one child on trampoline at a time and only when supervised by a responsible adult.

Keep younger children away from lawn mowers and follow age recommendations for mower use.

Always watch children closely when in or near any water.

Wear life jackets that are tight, fully buckled and the right size.

Keep children away from matches, lighters, grills, fires and home fireworks.

Activity Booklet

Have fun while learning about summer safety. Order our complimentary activity booklet and learn how to stay safe in summer.