As we head into the dog days of August, don’t get complacent about your kids and their safety!

Unfortunately, summer is a dangerous time of year for youngsters. Children have more free time and are less supervised during summer months, so tragedies peak. It is estimated that more than three million children under 14 will be rushed to the emergency room with serious injuries this summer and 2,000 will die.

But it’s never to late to adhere to some basic summer safety tips. Following are a few key ones:

  • Drowning is the leading cause of death for tots aged one through four, so teach them to swim! Swim lessons dramatically reduce the risk of drowning.
  • Secure your pool by installing a sturdy, locked four-sided fence.
  • Stock the pool with plenty of rescue equipment – such as life preservers.
  • Make sure your kids always wear a well-fitting helmet when biking.
  • Check to see that their bikes are in good working order and the seat is well adjusted.
  • Make sure your kids use age appropriate equipment on the playground.
  • When kids are on playground, keep in mind an adult presence is needed to watch for hazards, as well as observe, intercede and facilitate play.
  • Protect kids from high temperatures. A heat index at or above 90˚F may pose a health risk to children. Be watchful of the temperature while outdoors and keep children well hydrated.
  • Avoid heatstroke-related injury and death by never leaving your child alone in a car. Lock your car when you’re not in it, so kids can’t climb in on their own.
  • Review all traffic laws, then educate your kids. It will help younger pedestrians and bikers, as well as teens who are novice drivers.
  • Always keep a well-stocked, readily accessible first aid kit at home.
  • Teach kids how and when to dial 911. Make sure they have parents’ phone numbers memorized
  • Encourage your teens to have easily accessible emergency contact numbers programmed into cell phones.
  • Recognize that many children – from young tots to older teens — are unable to assess safety risks. Provide guidance – and supervision if necessary.

While there are dangers, summer is the ideal time for kids to relax, play outdoors and have fun.The warmer weather brings wonderful opportunities for invigorating activities like swimming, surfing, biking and hiking.

Whether your children are toddlers or teenagers, encourage and help them to stay safe, happy, active  and healthy this season. For more information, visit //www.cdc.gov/Features/

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