Summer is the time for outdoor cookouts, pool parties and backyard play dates – not a time for bandaging scrapes, nursing burns – or worse. Learn these important summer safety tips and make sure everyone in your family knows them by heart too. That way, it will be a summer to remember, for all the right reasons.
- Supervise constantly: Good supervision means you are able to scan the pool area every 20 seconds and be able to reach the pool in 10 seconds.
- Put multiple safety barriers between children and the pool: Install a four-foot fence with a self-closing, self-latching gate that has a locking mechanism beyond a child’s reach. Also cut overhanging tree limbs and remove chairs or ladders from the pool area to prevent children from climbing over the fence surrounding the pool.
- Always check the pool first if a child is missing: Child drowning is often a silent death that alerts no one with splashes or yells for help. Many drowning accidents happen when children have been missing for less than five minutes.
- Empty small wading pools and remove all toys after children are through playing: Infants can drown in just a few inches of water. Floats, balls and other toys may attract children to the pool when it is unattended.
- Keep grills at least 10 feet from any structure: Grilling mishaps cause more than 8,300 fires and send 3,000 people to the emergency room each year. Never grill indoors or near garages or porches, even if it’s raining.
- Have a spray bottle or fire extinguisher handy: An unexpected flare up can burn more than your burgers. Use a spray bottle to avoid flare ups and have a fire extinguisher nearby. Also, coals get hot – in some cases up to 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit – so dispose of charcoal away from kids and pets and cool it down with a hose.
- Never use gasoline or kerosene to light a charcoal fire: Both can cause an explosion. When grilling, use insulated, flame-retardant mitts and long-handled barbeque tongs and utensils to handle food and coals.
- Check gas grill hoses for cracking, brittleness, holes and leaks: If the tank valve or grill needs repair, do not attempt to do it yourself. Take it to your local home improvement store or qualified appliance repair person.
- Inspect outdoor decorative lights carefully: Some families add backyard ambience with outdoor decorative lighting. Do not connect more than three midget light string sets together. Light strings with screw-in bulbs should have a maximum of 50 bulbs connected together. Be sure to use light strings bearing the UL Mark, which means UL has tested samples of the product for risk of fire, electric shock and other hazards.
Carefully inspect backyard playground equipment: According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, 70 percent of all playground-related deaths occur on home playground equipment. Make sure equipment is anchored safely in the ground, all equipment pieces are in good working order, S-hooks are entirely closed and bolts are not protruding. For more information on playground safety.
Fourth of July Safety
The Fourth of July traditionally presents the biggest fire danger to citizens and is the cause of a great number of fires and burn injuries due to fireworks. Fireworks include devices which make a visible or audible effect when set off. Fires are caused by careless handling of fireworks in areas exposed to sparks or live fireworks.
Nationally, more than $36 million in property is damaged each year due to fireworks.
The Fourth of July also is responsible for many burn injuries associated with premature detonation or misuse of fireworks. Most fireworks burn injuries involve children. These are usually burns to the hands and eyes causing vision impairment and disfiguring scars. Sparklers are the biggest danger to children. A tip temperature at the end of the sparkler reaches 1800 degrees Fahrenheit and can easily cause a burn.
Leave fireworks to the professionals.
Restrictions on fireworks are for a good cause. No matter how small or large a fireworks may be, it is a potential fire starter. But it is still possible to celebrate and enjoy the holiday. Families can consult the newspaper or local activity calendar and attend one of several approved, licensed fireworks displays.