School is out and summer is finally in full swing. Whether your plans include backyard barbecues and road trips or bike rides and beach vacations, we’ve got some tips to help parents keep kids safe while they have fun in the sun.
Travel Safety Tips
- Buckling up on every ride is the single most important thing a family can do to stay safe in the car.
- Seventy-three percent of car seats are not used or installed correctly, so before you hit the road, check your car seat. Here’s a quick car seat checklist to help you out.
- Use a booster seat with the vehicle lap AND shoulder safety belts until your child passes the Safety Belt Fit Test.
- Heatstroke is the leading cause of non-crash, vehicle-related deaths for children. Never leave your child alone in a car, not even for a minute.
- If you’re planning to travel by air this summer, be sure to bring your child’s car seat onto the plane. Check to make sure the car seat is labeled “certified for use in motor vehicles and aircraft.” For babies and toddlers, this is the safest way to travel.
- If you’re visiting friends and family, talk to them ahead of time about being extra careful to keep small objects away from young kids. This includes medications, which can look like candy, button batteries, magnets, small toys, and other objects that are small enough for children to swallow. Also mention the importance of supervision when your kids are around water.
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Swimming Safety Tips
- Watch kids when they are in or around water, without being distracted. A Water Watcher card can help designate a responsible adult to keep an eye on kids in the water at all times.
- Teach children to swim with an adult. Older, more experienced swimmers should still swim with a partner every time.
- Swimming aids such as water wings or noodles are fun toys for kids, but are not appropriate to be used in place of a U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket.
- A large portion of boating accidents each year involve alcohol consumption by both boat operators and passengers. To keep you and your loved ones safe, it is strongly recommended not to drink alcoholic beverages while boating.
Bike Safety Tips
- Wear a properly-fitted helmet. It is the best way to prevent head injuries and death. Learn how to properly fit a helmet for your children in seconds.
- Ride on the sidewalk when you can. If not, ride in the same direction as traffic as far on the right-hand side as possible.
- Use hand signals and follow the rules of the road. Be predictable by making sure you ride in a straight line and don’t swerve between cars.
- Wear bright colors and use lights, especially when riding at night and in the morning. Reflectors on your clothes and bike will help you be seen.
- Ride with your children. Stick together until you are comfortable that your kids are ready to ride on their own.
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Grilling Safety Tips
- Position the grill well away from siding, deck railings, out from under eaves and overhanging branches and a safe distance from lawn games, play areas, and foot traffic.
- Keep children and pets away from the grill area by declaring a three-foot “kid-free zone” around the grill.
- Keep all matches and lighters away from children. Teach your children to report any loose matches or lighters to an adult immediately.
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