Make Summer Safer
- Never leave children alone in or near the pool, even for a moment.
- Make sure adults are trained in life-saving techniques and CPR so they can rescue a child if necessary.
- Surround your pool on all four sides with a sturdy five-foot fence.
- Make sure the gates self-close and self-latch at a height children can't reach.
- Keep rescue equipment (a shepherd's hook - a long pole with a hook on the end - and life preserver) and a portable telephone near the pool.
- Avoid inflatable swimming aids such as "floaties." They are not a substitute for approved life vests and can give children a false sense of security.
- Children are not developmentally ready for swim lessons until after their fourth birthday. Swim programs for children under 4 should not be seen as a way to decrease the risk of drowning.
- Whenever infants or toddlers are in or around water, an adult should be within arm's length, providing "touch supervision."
- Carefully maintain all equipment.
- Swings should be made of soft materials such as rubber, plastic or canvas.
- Make sure children cannot reach any moving parts that might pinch or trap any body part.
- Make sure metal slides are cool to prevent children's legs from getting burned.
- Parents should never purchase a home trampoline or allow children to use home trampolines.
- Do not push your child to ride a 2-wheeled bike until he or she is ready, at about age 5 or 6. Consider the child's coordination and desire to learn to ride. Stick with coaster brakes until your child is older and more experienced.
- Take your child with you when you shop for the bike, so that he or she can try it out. The value of a properly fitting bike far outweighs the value of surprising your child with a new bike.
- Buy a bike that is the right size, not one your child has to "grow into." Oversized bikes are especially dangerous.
- A helmet should be standard equipment. Whenever buying a bike, be sure you have a Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC)-approved helmet for your child.
How to test any style of bike for proper fit:
- Sitting on the seat with hands on the handlebar, your child must be able to place the balls of both feet on the ground.
- Straddling the center bar, your child should be able to stand with both feet flat on the ground with about a 1-inch clearance between the crotch and the bar.
- When buying a bike with hand brakes for an older child, make sure that the child can comfortably grasp the brakes and apply sufficient pressure to stop the bike.
Skateboard and scooter safety
- Children should never ride skateboards or scooters in or near traffic.
- All skateboarders and scooter-riders should wear a helmet and other protective gear.
- Communities should continue to develop skateboard parks, which are more likely to be monitored for safety than ramps and jumps constructed by children at home.