The New York Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NYSPCC), the first child protection agency in the world, wants all children to have a safe and happy summer. Here are several NYSPCC tips for keeping children safe.
1. Practice Playground Safety
- Watch out for hot surfaces that can burn children such as slides and swings.
- Make sure the safety surfaces are thick enough to protect children if they fall.
- Children should always wear shoes, even in the spray shower areas to protect their feet.
- Make sure there is an adult present to supervise at all times.
2. Practice water safety
- Public pools, backyard pools, the beach and lakes are all great places for swimming, but have different safety challenges — be familiar with them.
- Learn how to swim (adults too!)
- Learn CPR; classes are offered all the time. Visit the American Red Cross website for more info.
- Know the beach advisories, closures and water quality test results visit their website.
3. Practice Stranger Safety
- Although it is a rare occurrence, there are strangers intent on harming children
- Children need to know when it’s safe to approach a stranger, like when they are lost. A good rule is to approach someone wearing a uniform (a police officer, park employee, a cashier)
- Children need to know NEVER to go anywhere with a stranger who approaches them, unless the parent or babysitter says it’s okay.
- Play it safe; rehearse safety scenarios with your child. Role play how to make noise, scream and run.
- For more information about teaching your child about strangers visit www.FamilyEducation.com
4. Practice Heat Safety
- Never leave your child alone in a car, not even for a minute; the temperature can rise quickly putting them at risk.
- Plan early morning play when it’s cooler.
- Keep your children hydrated; carry water bottles with you, especially on hot summer days or trips to the beach.
- Use air conditioning during heat waves. If you don’t have an air conditioner, go to a cool place like relative’s home, the library, or NYC Cooling Centers. To find them visit http://www.nyc.gov/html/oem/html/hazards/heat_cooling.shtml
- For more heat safety info visit http://www.care.com/child-care-summer-safety-tips-a-guide-to-protecting-kids-when-activities-heat-up-p1017-q6731064.html
5. Practice Bike, Scooter and Skateboard Safety
- All children should wear a helmet. It’s recommended for scooters and skateboards too. Elbow and knee pads are good protection.
- Children should wear reflective clothing.
- When bike riding, know and practice the rules of the road with your child. NYC children are killed as pedestrians in transportation accidents much too often. Teach them to ride in the same direction as cars, stop at all stop signs and obey traffic lights and how to use hand signals.
- Teach your child to never hitch a ride from a car, bus or other vehicle
- For more safety info, visit: http://kidshealth.org/parent/
6. Practice Barbecue Safety
- Keep small children away from the barbeque. It’s easy for them to get burned. Never leave the grill unattended.
- Keep matches and lighters away from children.
- Never use a propane or charcoal grill on the balcony, terrace or roof of any building, it’s illegal. Thousands of fires are set accidentally each year. If you do have a propane tank, don’t store it indoors or underground and please keep it away from children.
7. Practice Fireworks Safety
- Keep your children away from fireworks, it’s illegal to have them at home. Each summer, we learn of tragedies when lighting them goes awry.
- Leave fireworks to the professionals; these displays are conducted under the supervision of the Fire Department of New York City (FDNY).
8. Practice Fire Safety
- Don’t park your car in front of a hydrant; if there is a fire, this can put saving lives in peril.
- Overloaded electrical outlets are one of the major causes of residential fires. Make sure large appliances that use high wattage, such as air conditioners, have their own outlet.
- Go over your fire evacuation plan with your child.
- For more summer fire safety tips, visit http://www.nyc.gov/html/fdny/html/safety/fire_safety_downloads.shtml
9. Practice Summer Camp Safety
- Make sure the camp has American Camp Association accreditation
- Find out how the staff are screened and the ratio of staff to children
- Find out how the camp handles emergencies
- For more information on camp safety visit www.nyspcc.org
10. Practice Sun Safety
- Avoid having your children exposed during the strongest rays of the day between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.
- Use sunscreen consistently. Make sure the label says it contains both UVA and UVB protection. For children six months and older, use at least SPF 30, preferably higher. Reapply it every two hours.
- Keep infants out of the sun. Sunscreen is not recommended for infants under six months old. If they must be in the sun, dress them in clothing that covers the body and a brimmed sun hat.
- For more sun safety info, visit http://www.fda.gov/forconsumers/consumerupdates/ucm309136.htm
For more information about keeping your child safe visit www.nyspcc.org
Have a happy and safe summer!