Hey friends…it’s officially June and summer is here! As the weather warms and school lets out, our kids are eager for all-things-summer. It can be easy to blow off safety tips in the excitement of the season’s break, but us parents (and our children) should be aware of a few things before busting out the extra sunscreen and bug spray.
My friends over at Plevin & Gallucci, a Cleveland-based law firm (that handles personal injury and product liability cases,) offers five tips to keep our kids safe this summer:
1. Pack an emergency car kit. Your first thought as a parent during the summer may be centered around your upcoming family vacation. Are you planning a big road trip, or driving to a small getaway for a weekend? You’ll want to make sure you have all the essentials packed in your car.
Consider that just last year alone, Ohio was home to 305,964 traffic crashes, which caused 112,000 injuries and more than 1,100 deaths. Of those, 33 children younger than age 14 were killed and another 8,800 were hurt in crashes.
While there are a number of things you should get checked out on your vehicle before hitting the road — like your brakes, oil levels, fuel, and air filters — it’s also important to pack a few things in case of emergency. The Department of Homeland Security offers the following as top priorities for your car kit:
• Jumper cables
• Flashlights with extra batteries
• A first-aid kit, including necessary medications and diapers or formula, if you have a small child
• Some nonperishable food and water (at least one gallon per person a day for 3 days)
• Extra cellphone chargers?• Blankets or warm clothing for the evening
2. Don’t forget your helmets. One of the most common causes of unintentional injuries and related deaths among children is motor vehicle crashes, but many that occur from May through August also include drowning, falls, pedestrian incidents, and biking.
Each year, about 200 children in Ohio between the ages of 5 and 15 are admitted as hospital inpatients for the injuries they receive while riding a bike, with thousands more are treated in emergency rooms. Like using car seats or booster seats for young kids who ride in the car, it’s important to teach safe bicycle riding tips and to make sure they never leave the house without their helmet.
Head injuries are especially traumatizing for children — they’re much more likely to die from them than adults — and they account for 63% of bicycle fatalities, according to the Children’s Safety Network. Helmets reduce the risk of head injuries by as much as 85 percent, and can cost less than $10.
3. Be careful at the pool. Statistics can be hard to swallow, but they’re deadly even with summer’s most popular activity: swimming. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, three children die every day in the U.S. as a result of drowning.
Make sure to always supervise your kids when they’re at the pool or near another body of water, and make it a fun activity to teach them how to swim. The Cleveland YMCA is just one local place for swim lessons, and includes specialty programs based on age or skill level.
Another thing to keep in mind with pool safety is the heat. You’ll hear more this time of year about the devastating consequences of leaving your child in the car — infants and children up to age 4 are at the most risk of heat-related illnesses, according to the CDC. Make sure to never leave your child in a parked car, keep him or her in lightweight and light-colored clothing, and limit your outdoor activities to the morning and evening the avoid the day’s hottest hours.
4. Make sure your favorite products are safe. Product recalls pop into the news seemingly every day. Whether it be pet food or your family’s favorite ice cream, there’s a lot we all need to pay attention to to ensure our safety — from the common peanut allergy warning to something serious for all children, like sharp objects or dangerous medicine. Defective products can surprisingly include some of our kids’ favorite things, too: really cool hoverboards for the teenagers, daily sippy cups for toddlers, or even our baby monitors.
You can sign up for recall alerts from the federal government here, but it’s also just a good idea to read your local newspaper every day or watch or listen to the news to stay abreast of product safety.
5. Consider additional safety training for your family. If you’re going swimming together regularly as a family this summer at any of Cleveland’s public pools, it could be fun to get CPR training together as well. If you have a pre-teen or teenager who is looking to earn some extra cash by babysitting one day, CPR is an invaluable skill to add to their resume.
Check out the American Red Cross’ available classes in town this summer, but remember: mix in some fun with all these safety tips!
Have a happy and healthy summer you guys, and don’t be afraid to contact the great people over at Plevin & Gallucci if you or a family member is ever injured in an accident or by a defective product and need help. Be safe Cleveland!
(Hope you enjoyed a few pics of our little “Toddler Ninja!” he is LOVING the latest warm weather and sunshine!)
SPONSORED POST : Thank you to Plevin & Gallucci who invited me to share their summer safety tips as part of their social outreach. Thanks for supporting this business, while allowing me to create special content like this for iheartcleveland!