NW Colorado Health: Safety tips for summer family fun
There is so much family fun to be had over the next few months, but remember these tips to help keep your kids safe and avoid injury this summer too.
Always supervise children around water. Drowning is the leading cause of injury death for children ages 1-4, and toddlers can drown in only an inch or two of water.
Young children should always wear a properly fitting life jacket near natural bodies of water such as rivers and lakes. Swim lessons are a great way for kids to learn water safety skills.
Everyone over 6 months of age should wear sunscreen when outside, and it’s important to re-apply often. Look for broad spectrum sunscreen SPF 30 or greater that protects against UVA and UVB rays, and is water-resistant.
For babies 6 months or younger, covering up their skin and keeping them in the shade is best. Kids of all ages benefit from sunglasses and a sunhat — let your kids pick theirs out so it’s something they want to wear.
A properly fitting helmet can reduce the risk of head injuries by at least 45%. Kids should always wear a helmet when riding a bike, scooter or skateboard. Have your kids start wearing helmets when they are in a bike trailer or on a Strider bike to help them get used to it and know it is expected.
Parents should also wear a helmet for their own safety, and to show kids the importance of always wearing a helmet. The helmet should be worn level and cover your child’s forehead. It should rest two finger widths above the eyebrows. The side straps should form a “Y” and meet below the ear.
Never leave children alone in hot cars. The temperature inside a car is much hotter than outside, and children’s bodies’ heat up three to five times faster than adults. So leaving kids in a car, even with the windows open, is very dangerous and can lead to heat stroke — which can cause organ and brain damage, and can even lead to death.
Adult supervision is crucial to help prevent common injuries that can occur in summer, and ensure our kids are having fun too.
If you are looking for additional resources and tips, Northwest Colorado Health offers a spectrum of programs designed to help ensure pregnant women, mothers, children and families have the best chance at healthy, safe and successful futures.
SafeCare Colorado provides free parenting education and resources for families with children under age five. SafeCare Parent support providers help parents build on their existing skills in the areas of parent-child interactions, home safety and child health.
To learn more, visit NorthwestColoradoHealth.org/safecare or call 970-415-2668.
First-time moms who financially qualify can also participate in Nurse-Family Partnership (NFP), which connects pregnant women with specially trained nurses during pregnancy and through a child’s second birthday for free life-coaching.
NFP nurses have a wealth of information and tools to ensure you have a healthy pregnancy and childbirth and are prepared for early motherhood. To learn more visit NorthwestColoradoHealth.org/nfp or call 970-871-7686.
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