June is National Safety Month

Safety starts with you. Tips on how to protect your child every day.

June 2, 2016

June is National Safety Month and we believe that wellness and safety go hand-in-hand. For children battling serious illnesses, it’s especially important to make sure you and your children are safe all summer long. Being aware of your child’s surroundings and potential hazards can make a difference in preventing a life-threatening injury. This includes while your child is in the hospital or at another care facility.

By the Water

With summer upon us, water safety is a top concern for many parents.

Drownings are a leading cause of injury death for children ages one to 14. According to the CDC, three children die every day as a result of drowning.

There are ways to protect your children while having fun in the sun:

•   The National Safety Council is offering a free online CPR course this month.
•   Fence off the pool: install a four–sided fence, with self–closing and latching gates.
•   Always wear life jackets: make sure kids wear life jackets in and around water.
•   Supervise kids when they are in or near water, including bathtubs

Girls playing at the pool --- Image by © Royalty-Free/Corbis

Around the House

Kids can be quite curious as they’re hanging out at the house and it’s important to make sure they’re safe. Keep medicines and toxic products, such as cleaning solutions and detergent pods, in their original packaging where children can’t see or get them. Put the nationwide poison control center phone number 1-800-222-1222 by all telephones in case of an emergency.

A fun, free and printable resource you can download is a “Color Me Safe” coloring book from the CDC that teaches children about safety and awareness. Color in the pages as the Safe Family take steps to prevent injuries by installing smoke alarms, and using child safety seats.

On the Road

If you’re headed to the grocery store or on a road trip, no matter the distance, it’s crucial to buckle up! Research shows that seat belts reduce crash-related injuries and deaths by half. According to the CDC, 56% of teenagers between 13-20 who died in a passenger vehicle crash in 2013 were not wearing their seat belt.

This is the best precautionary step you can take as a driver or passenger in a car. Six teenagers between the ages of 16–19 die every day from car crash injuries, according to the CDC. The best way to prevent such tragedies are to put down your phone, drive the speed limit and wear your seat belt. Also, parents need to set a good example by always using a seat belt themselves.

Whether you're taking a bike ride or sharing the road with a bicyclist, please keep these tips in mind:

•   During the day, fluorescent clothing makes bicyclists visible from further away than regular clothing.
•   At night, retro-reflective clothing makes bicyclists more visible.
•   Wear lights at night, such as front white lights, rear red lights or other lighting on the bicycle.
•   While driving or bicycling make sure to check twice before changing lanes.

At the Park

The playground is a fun and important place for a child during the summer, but it can also put children at risk of injuries.

According to the CDC, children are more likely to get a concussion or other serious brain injury when using monkey bars, swings and other climbing equipment. So, to keep children safe, make sure to run through a quick checklist before going to the park:

•   Use playground equipment that is right for your child’s age.
•   Make sure there is soft material under the equipment.
•   Check for guardrails to help prevent falls.
•   Look out for things in the area that can trip your child.


Prepare for Natural Disasters

Mother nature is unpredictable, but there are steps you can take right now to be proactive and ensure your family knows what to do during a natural disaster. This year, we have already seen severe flooding in parts of the United States and hurricane season officially began on June 1.

Here are some simple steps you can take to ensure you and your family are prepared for a disaster as recommended by NOAA and the National Weather Service.

Be proactive:

•   Bring in outdoor items such as furniture, trash cans and grills or tie them down securely.
•   Find out where the nearest shelter is and the different routes you can take to get there if you have to leave your home.
•   Buy a fire extinguisher and make sure your family knows where it is and how to use it.
•   Pet owners should have plans to care for their animals.
•   Prepare a first aid kit and other crucial supplies like water. Here is a great example of a Disaster Supplies Kit.

Most important, you should never ignore an evacuation order. If you are told to leave your home, follow all designated evacuation routes and never attempt to drive or walk across debris or flooded roads.

Zika Virus

With summer comes mosquito season. The Zika virus is something to be aware of, but there are ways to stay safe.

Zika is defined by the CDC as a disease that is spread primarily through the bite of an infected mosquito. Common symptoms include a fever, rash, joint pain and red eyes and it is very rare to die of Zika. However, infection during pregnancy can cause serious birth defects, as well as other severe fetal brain defects.

Visit the CDC website to find a comprehensive list of simple precautions that you can take to protect yourself and your family this summer.


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