Summer means fun outdoors, it can also mean trips to the emergency room. However, there are some things you can do to help keep your children safe this summer.
If you have little ones, do you have window guards to on all of the windows in your house, including your bedroom? Window guards can prevent inquisitive children from falling out of open windows. If you don't want window guards, take time to install window stops on each window that opens. These stops allow you, or a precocious child to open windows but generally no more than 4 or 5 inches. If you have a sofa or chair near a window you may want to move it to discourage children from using them to climb up near windows.
Outdoor Safety Check List
Playgrounds are great fun, but make sure the playground area is safe.* These days most playgrounds have rubber surfaces or some other surface to help to cushion falls that are bound to happen.
Make sure your child wears a helmet and other safety gear when skateboarding, riding a scooter or a bike.
Place swimming pool barriers around the pool if you have youngsters. This will help to prevent easy access to the pool. Do not leave little ones in the shallow end of the pool for any reason. If your pool is small enough to cover each night, do so.
Keep kids away from grills when cooking, both gas and electric grills can quickly have a grease fire. Be mindful that grease splatters when liquids, such as vinegar or other water-based ingredients are added. Do not take chances with slightly frayed electric cords or brittle tubes, instead check cords and tubes before you put your grill away for the winter. This is the time to change or fix things, then when you wake up to 90 degree weather you won't be caught with a grill that you cannot use.
This is the time of year when kids like to play hide-and-seek. Do not allow it to become deadly by having old appliances with latch-type closures such as refrigerators, clothes dyers, chests, etc. If for some reason, you cannot get rid of the appliance, remove the door or cover. Still, issue a warning to your child not to hide or play inside of these things, explain the danger.
When you are mowing in the summer, turn the mower off if children enter the area. If your lawn slopes and you are mowing with a push mower, it may be wise to mow across the downward slope rather than up and down. A reminder that a riding lawn mower is not made to carry a second person. Do not allow your child to ride along.
Lastly, don't forget sunblock for your youngsters and for yourself. Know dark complexions need protection from the sun too, there is an appropriate SPF (Sun Protection Factor) number for everyone.
*See public playground safety checklist from the U.S. Consumer Product Commission.
Have a safe, healthy and happy summer!