Summer is the time for sun, fun and vacations. Most children are free from school and adults are more active outdoors. Nevertheless, summertime activities present risks of accidents and injuries. Here are some safety tips to consider when enjoying the weather.
POOL SAFETY – For pool owners, be sure to have a sturdy fence surrounding the pool. Have clear rules on who can use the pool and safety rules regarding swimming and diving. Always supervise children carefully when they are in or around the pool. Consider installing a pool cover and/or alarm if you have young children. Insist that your children learn to swim as early as possible and consider getting professional instruction. The YMCA has a great swimming instruction program.
BEACH AND BOATING – Swimming and wave riding at the Jersey Shore or Delaware beaches is great fun, but present risks of drowning or spinal cord injuries. Swim only when lifeguards are on duty, but don’t rely on them alone to protect your young children. Always closely supervise your children when they are in or near the ocean. Beware of the dangers of waves and undertow and teach your children how to tread water and call for help if they get in trouble in deeper water. Bodysurfing can be exhilarating, but there is always a risk that a wave could be too strong and cause neck or back injuries. When boating, everyone should be wearing life jackets at all times. Remember, too, that drinking and boating don’t mix.
BIKE RIDING AND SKATEBOARDING – For bike riders and skaters, helmets and pads should be required equipment. It’s also wise to have clear rules about where children can ride. Narrow country roads and steep hills present grave dangers to bikers and skaters.
GOLF AND BASEBALL – Both golf and baseball involve risk of injury if precautions are not taken. Batters should always wear helmets and great care needs to be taken when swinging the bat. Golf also involves avoidable danger. Young players should be carefully instructed on the importance of making sure no one is near when they swing. Etiquette and safety dictate that all players should stand behind someone as they swing so that they don’t get hit by a golf ball.
SUN AND LIGHTNING – The sun presents the risk of sunburn and skin cancer. Hats and water and sweat-proof sunblock can help minimize the risk or overexposure. Summertime thunderstorms produce deadly lightning. Although extremely rare, there have been several local deaths caused by lightning strikes on local golf courses in the last decade or so. When thunderstorms are near, don’t risk it. Get yourself and your children indoors.