Opinion

June 9, 2014

Stay safe during the summer

Summertime is perhaps the most fun part of the entire year.

The days are warmer. The days are longer. And after the harsh winter we experienced, people want to be outside as much as they can.

Swimming pools. Cookouts. Days on the lake. Late evening walks. Baseball games.

But those extended days can bring added dangers. Since more people are outside we should pay extra attention while we are out, whether driving, riding bicycles or running, for example.

Here are some tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics to make your summer safer. These tips cover playgrounds, biking, skateboarding, four-wheeling and lawn mowing.

• Make sure slides are cool to prevent children’s legs from getting burned.

• Do not allow children to play barefoot on the playground.

• A helmet protects your child from serious injury, and should always be worn. And remember, wearing a helmet at all times helps children develop the helmet habit.

• Most injuries occur due to falls. Inexperienced riders should only ride as fast as they can comfortably slow down, and they should practice falling on grass or other soft surfaces. Before riding, skateboarders should survey the riding terrain for obstacles such as potholes, rocks or any debris. Protective wrist, elbow and knee pads should be worn.

• Children who are too young to have a driver’s license should not be allowed to operate or ride off-road vehicles. Children are involved in about 30 percent of all ATV-related deaths and emergency room-treated injuries.

• Children younger than 16 should not be allowed to use ride-on mowers. Children younger than 12 should not use walk-behind mowers.

The full list can be viewed at www.aap.org. We encourage you to visit the website and go over these safety tips with your children.

Have a safe and fun summer.

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