Whether on the road or just out in the yard, summer is no time to take a vacation from safety. You want memories of good times spent together as a family, not a trip to the emergency room. We’ve put together a list of tips to help keep your summer safe and sunny.
Safety on Deck
If your family spends time on an outside deck, be sure to install a gate at the top of the stairs as well as a Railnet along the sides to prevent falls. Sanding down rough patches on wood banisters and boards will help keep little hands splinter free. If you have metal on your deck, be sure to clean off any rusted areas and be aware of sharp edges that a little duct tape can help soften.
It’s pretty obvious that you’ll want to keep small children away from the grill when barbecuing, but be sure to stow barbecue utensils out of children’s reach when they are not being used. It’s tempting for little hands to grab onto those tongs and fork when they’re just dangling off the grill.
Garden tools can be very sharp and many people keep their lawns and gardens looking beautiful with the help of fertilizers and insecticides. Like any other household tools and chemicals, these supplies should be stored in an area that is off-limits to children. A shed with a locked door is a great place for these items, but be aware that your little one may wander inside while your attention is focused on gardening. Be sure to keep the shed locked during your gardening time too.
If you have a pool, make sure there is a locked fence surrounding it to prevent your child from accessing the pool unsupervised. Drain all kiddy pools when not in use. Also, if there is a hot tub in your home, make it off-limits to children. Drain the water when not in use or keep the cover or door locked. When infants and toddlers are around water, always have the child within arm’s reach, providing “touch supervision.”
Remember that it takes only minutes for a parked car to heat up to unacceptable temperatures. Never leave your young child unattended in the car, even if you only plan to be gone for a few minutes.
We love letting a cool breeze into the house on a hot summer day, but open windows are a hazard for young children. Screens will not prevent falls because they can easily give way.
Install window locks or window guards in your home that allow the breeze to flow in, but keep children from getting out. Also be sure to move “ladders” away from windows. Cribs, chairs, and beds may look like furniture to an adult, but a curious child will see them as an easy way to get a peek outside.
Car Seat Check
Be sure your car seat is properly installed. We encourage parents to do this year round, but especially during the summer travel season. Need a hand with proper installation? The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration offers a Child Car Seat Inspection Station Locator on their site.
When traveling on extended trips, think about where you’ll be spending your nights. Hotels and motels don’t usually have the childproofing devices you’ve already used to help keep your own home secure. Call ahead, or bring along a travel pack of essential safety items. Also, be sure to keep a close eye on your baby and toddler as they explore new surroundings. You can help them avoid hazards they don’t face at home.
Sunscreen. We know you hear this from every corner, but no list of summer safety tips would be complete without a shout out to kid-friendly formulations of this outdoor staple.