Summer Safety Pointers

Melissa Kossler Dutton
Mark Johnson helps son Bodee, 3, fasten his helmet during the Westerville Parks and Recreation Department’s 2019 Bike Rodeo.

With summer upon us, many families are letting kids stay up later, eat more junk food and generally relaxing some of their household rules. Still, child safety advocates recommend extra vigilance in some areas.

Drowning is a big risk in the summer. While drowning deaths peak among 1- and 2-year-olds, it continues to be the second leading cause of preventable death of children through age 15, according to research by the National Safety Council. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission encourages families to take the Pool Safety Pledge. The pledge outlines critical safety precautions such as designating a watcher to monitor children while they are in and around a pool and teaching children to swim.

Doctors see more than 200,000 kids in emergency rooms around the country each year for playground-related injuries, according the National Safety Council. Make sure your local playground is safe by ensuring that the equipment is surrounded by 12 inches of wood chips, mulch, sand or pea gravel, or mats made of safety-tested rubber or rubber-like materials. Playgrounds also should be free of exposed concrete footings, rocks or tree stumps.

The National Safety Council offers safety tips for many summer activities including biking, fireworks and boating.