With temperatures sure to rise and the school year ending soon in Chattanooga, children are going to naturally want to spend more time outdoors. Perhaps it is time to take the cover off the swimming pool or let the kids venture out into the neighborhood on their bicycles for fun as the days get longer. If amusement turns to injury, our pediatric walk in clinic in Chattanooga is ready to respond. Here are five main areas of concern to consider to reduce the likelihood of risks to kids while outdoors:
You’ll want to make certain to never leave children alone in or near a pool, even for a moment. Close supervision by a responsible adult is a must. Check latches on pool gates and make sure fences are secure. Consider swimming lessons as well as CPR lessons. Be aware of suction from drains and make sure drain covers are not missing or broken. Children should wear properly-fitting life jackets at all times when on boats, docks or near bodies of water.
Eliminate stagnant water, such as in bird baths or fish ponds, in your yard. Dump any buckets or tires that may contain standing water. Check that your window screens are tightly fitted and repair any holes to keep bugs out of the house. Use insect repellents containing DEET when needed to prevent insect-related diseases. Ticks can transmit Lyme Disease, and mosquitoes can transmit West Nile, Zika virus, Chikungunya virus and other viruses. Children should wear hats to protect against ticks when walking in the woods, high grasses or bushes. Check hair and skin for ticks at the end of the day.
A helmet protects your child from serious injury and should always be worn, no matter how short the ride or how close to home. Your child should ride on the right, facing the same direction as traffic, and should be taught to obey all stop signs and other traffic control devices. Children should never ride at night.
Lawn Mower Safety
Only use a mower with a control that stops the mower blade from moving if the handle is let go. Children younger than 16 years should not be allowed to use ride-on mowers. Children younger than 12 years should not use walk-behind mowers. Do not allow children to ride as passengers on ride-on mowers. Pick up objects such as stones or toys from the lawn before mowing begins. Eye and hearing protection should be used. Do not put a mower in reverse without first checking for children behind you.
The American Academy of Pediatrics does not recommend home trampoline use because thousands of children are injured on them each year. If there is a trampoline in the yard, children should be supervised by an adult at all times, and protective padding should be in good condition or replaced. By thinking common sense safety this spring, your kids can have lots of fun this summer.