Memorial Regional Health: Make safety a priority this summer
The summer months bring a time of more freedom and joy for children, but also more worry for parents.
With so much to do outside in and around Craig, Memorial Regional Health reminds parents and youth about how to enjoy the fun activities of summer without getting hurt. One of the best ways to prevent injuries is for parents to lead by example in the push to make safety a family effort.
Following are some safety tips to protect you from injury while enjoying your favorite summertime fun.
Drownings are the leading cause of death for children age 1 to 4, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Swimming lessons are available July 23 through Aug. 2 through the city of Craig’s Parks and Recreation Department. Visit ci.craig.co.us for more informaiton or to register. Registration ends July 16.
In addition to ensuring your children know how to swim — either by personally teaching them or enrolling them in lessons — the CDC also recommends the following.
- Always supervise children when in or around water. A responsible adult should constantly watch young children.
- Learn cardiopulmonary resuscitation. Your CPR skills could save someone’s life.
- Install a four-sided fence around home pools.
Each year, emergency departments treat more than 200,000 children age 14 and younger for playground-related injuries, according to the CDC. If your children are playing on playground equipment, check ensure the surfaces under the equipment are safe, soft and well-maintained. Adults should always supervise children while playing on playgrounds.
In Colorado, anyone younger than 18 must wear a Department of Transportation-approved helmet when riding a motorcycle, but there are no mandatory helmet laws for bicycles. Still, parents should encourage or require their children to wear helmets to protect from dangerous brain injuries.
Traumatic brain injuries cause disruptions in the normal function of the brain and are sustained through a bump, blow or jolt to the head.
“From 2001 to 2012, the rate of emergency department visits for sports and recreation-related injuries with a diagnosis of concussion or TBI, alone or in combination with other injuries, more than doubled among children (age 19 or younger),” the CDC reported.
Visit headsuphelmets.com for tips about how to properly fit a bicycle helmet.
All-terrain vehicles, or ATVs, are a popular form of recreation around Craig. These vehicles can be very dangerous, which is why parents must ask themselves whether their children are old enough, big enough and mature enough to handle an ATV, according to the ATV Safety Institute.
The institute recommends parents take the following precautions.
- Control access to ATV keys.
- Allow children to ride only after they have demonstrated they can follow directions.
- Do not allow your child’s friends to ride your child’s ATV without their parents’ permission and your supervision. Remember, only the parent of the child can decide if his or her child is ready to ride.
- Do not let anyone ride your ATV unless he or she has completed formal ATV training; this includes adults.
- ¶ If your child looks tired or physically fatigued, don’t let him or her ride an ATV.
- If you decide it’s time to ride, let children mount an ATV if they are wearing all safety equipment.
- If you have other ATVs that are intended for use by adults, don’t let children play on the vehicles, even if the key is not in the ignition. It’s not a toy.
- Every ATV made by our members comes with a warning label, clearly stating the minimum age of the rider. Find it. Know it. Enforce it.
Hydration and sun protection
The habit of applying sunscreen to your face and your children’s faces every morning in the summer is a good one, but don’t forget to reapply after three or four hours. Also, sunscreen works best when applied 30 to 45 minutes prior to going out in the sun. When swimming, Memorial Regional Health advises use of a waterproof sunscreen and reapplication after extended time in the water.
Get in the habit of seeking shade from umbrellas, trees, hats and long sleeves. If you must feel the sun on your face, do it only for a few minutes with plenty of sunscreen.
Time flies by and high school seniors wind down their time as graduation approaches. I’ve never encountered a graduate of our high school who doesn’t want their life to be better in some way, shape, or fashion. Things haven’t gotten any easier for young people who are surrounded daily by the pressures of an increasingly skill-specific economy and pressure-driven expectations for how their lives should be lived.