Keep your kids safe outdoors this summer
Friday, May 17, 2013 03:53 pm
Now that weíve finally stored away the skis and toboggans, itís time to haul out the summer toys Ė bikes, skateboards, kiddie pools and trampolines.
While these warm weather activities are plenty of fun, thereís also an element of risk involved.
Thousands of Alberta children are taken to the emergency room each year due to injuries from these common childhood playthings.
Hereís what you need to know to keep your kids safe this summer:
Gear up. Children less than 18 years of age should wear a helmet at all times while cycling, roller skating, inline skating or skateboarding. This includes passengers (such as kids in bike trailers) and even toddlers on tricycles. For some activities, such as skateboarding or inline skating, full protective equipment (helmet, wrist guards, gloves, knee and elbow pads) is recommended.
Be wary of water. Kids can drown in as little as one inch of water, and head-heavy toddlers are especially at risk, even in seemingly harmless toddler pools. While lifejackets are helpful in larger pools, nothing can replace adult supervision for protecting our children poolside. Donít allow young children to play with water unsupervised, even for a minute.
Use safety measures. The Canada Safety Council cautions that equipment like bouncy houses and trampolines should be inspected frequently to ensure theyíre as safe as possible. They recommend trampolines be set up away from structures, trees or other play areas, and given a quick inspection before each use to ensure the shock absorbing pads cover the springs, hooks and frame, the springs and leg braces are secure, and the bed and frame are not damaged in any way. They also suggest setting three non-negotiable rules: one person at a time, no flips or somersaults and no jumping onto or off of the trampoline.
Assess the area. Before letting your kids head out to play, especially if theyíre old enough to roam the neighbourhood on their own or with friends, check out where they plan to go for safety risks.
Set expectations on behaviour while crossing the road and skateboarding on public property.