Safety Tips For You and Your Child
By Erica Campbell on March 24, 2012, 5:43pm
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Now that the weather is getting warmer and the sun is up longer, nothing makes me happier than spending time outside playing with my son. Whether it is playing baseball, watching him riding his bike, or splashing in the pool, smelling the outside air and being in the sun is simply wonderful. But, I also become even more aware of different problems/emergencies that may occur and what I would do if they did happen.
No matter how hard you watch your child, you could turn your back for a split second and that is all it takes. You could be staring right at them and they could get hurt. We all know this, but this should not stop anyone from enjoying this gorgeous weather. The following are a list of safety tips to help both you and your child stay safe while having fun.
1) Keep your cell phone in your pocket, even if you are home. Many times we take our child out to play in the yard and leave the phone in the house, thinking “I’m home…who needs the phone.” However, if your child gets hurt in the yard, the last thing you want to do is have to leave him/her by themselves to go get a phone.
2) Check all the screens and window air conditioners in the house to make sure they are secure. Push on them if you have to. Nothing is more tragic than a child falling out of a window, just because they were looking out and pushing on the screen.
3) Clear all standing water and remove trash from around your house. That includes checking any playground equipment, toys, sandboxes, drain pipes, birdbaths, kiddie pools, grills and patio furniture. Nothing attracts more bugs, including mosquitoes, than standing water and garbage, and those insects could carry diseases. If they bite or sting your child, he or she could get very sick.
4) Try to know what, if anything, your child might be allergic to. Especially if those allergies are life threatening, like bee stings. Many times, allergies run in families, especially child to mother. If the mom is allergic, the chances are greater the child is as well.
5) Always protect your child’s feet. Children’s feet are very sensitive. Letting them run barefoot outside is not a good idea. They could step on something and cut their foot, or even burn the bottoms of their feet on a hot sidewalk or street. Even the hot sand on the beach could cause feet to blister without some type of footwear.
6) Use plenty of sunblock. The skin should always be protected, no matter how light or dark it is, especially with children. Make sure you put enough sunblock on and choose the correct kind. It is said a tear free and sweatproof sunblock works the best. This way, if they sweat, it will not run, go into their eyes and burn.
7) Drink plenty of water. All children need enough water to re-hydrate during and after playing outside. Many will not know they are dehydrated and need to be reminded to drink water. Juice and soda will only add to the dehydration, as they contain sugar and stop the body from absorbing water.
8) Know the signs of heat exhaustion. The following are signs that your child may be heading to a medical crisis are:
- Complaining of muscle cramping;
- Pale, moist skin…almost clammy;
- Temperature exceeding 102 degrees;
- Anxiety is the last step before heat stroke sets in and is never normal. Get your child inside, into a cool room and get fluids into them asap. If in doubt, call 911 immediately.
9) Keep medicines and a first aid kit easily available. No one wants to need medicine, Band-Aids or first aid cream and realize they don’t have any. Get everything before you need it and check expiration dates on the medicine frequently.
10) Wear loose, light colored clothing. This will help the sweat to dry and keep the child comfortable because children are more sensitive to heat. If possible, when it gets really hot, try to stay in a cool, indoor area during the hours of 10am–3pm.
11) Use bug spray with tick repellent. If your child will be outdoors after dusk, or in a woodsy area, use a bug spray that will repel mosquitoes and ticks. Also, socks, long pants and long sleeves will offer more protection to those nasty, biting insects.
12) Pool Safety: Under no uncertain terms should any child be near a pool (big or small) without an adult. A child (or anyone for that matter) can drown in less than three inches of water. No child should be left in a pool, even if they are an experienced swimmer, unattended for any reason. They could slip and bump their heads. If they slip under the water, it only takes three to five minutes without oxygen for brain damage to begin.
Remember: this is the time of year that we should all be out enjoying family and friends. Following a few safety tips won’t always prevent something from happening, but at least you could be prepared.
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