National Child Safety Awareness Month concluded in June, but our firm’s commitment to safety awareness continues in July. We want to focus parents’ attention on the three big safety concerns for themselves and their kids: summer heat, water and fireworks.
The EPA reports that during 2014, heat was the leading cause of weather-related deaths in the United States. Drowning was the primary cause of unintentional death among children between the ages of one and four, according to poolsafely.gov. The National Safety Council attributed more than 11,400 injuries and eight deaths to fireworks in one recent year.
If you want to address these three big safety concerns for you and your children this summer, we recommend the following:
As summer temperatures often go very high here in North Carolina, people who are not used to spending a lot of time outdoors or in the hot temperatures may be at an increased risk of heat stroke or other heat-related illnesses. Keeping yourself safe from the summer heat can involve:
- Wearing sunscreen
- Wearing lightweight clothing to protect your skin
- Wearing a wide-brimmed hat
- Drinking more water than usual, even when spending time in a pool, lake, river or the ocean
- Reducing direct exposure to the sun
- Never leaving babies, children, the elderly or pets in a hot car
- Limiting outdoor activities during mid-day hours
National statistics from the government’s poolsafely.gov website reveal that each year, 390 kids under the age of 15 drown in pools and spas, and an average of 4,900 more suffer drowning-related injuries. Out of the drowning deaths, 76 percent involve children under the age of five and 67 percent involve children between the ages of one and three. In the state of North Carolina, 15 children between the ages of zero and 14 drowned in 2014, with the majority of these occurring at a residence during the warm summer months. Minimizing the risk of drowning can be done by:
- Making sure you and your children know how to swim
- Designating an individual to keep an eye on kids at all times while in or near the water
- Never leaving your children unattended around a body of water
- Making sure your pool has a fence with self-latching gates
- Learning how to perform CPR in an emergency
According to the National Fire Protection Association, not only do fireworks pose a structure fire risk, 11,400 people were treated in U.S. emergency rooms during 2013 for fireworks-related injuries. Children under the age of five are the group most at risk of being injured by fireworks, followed by pre-teens and teens between the ages of 10 and 14. To keep your family safe from fireworks this summer:
- Do not light your own fireworks
- Attend a professional fireworks show
- Keep kids at least 50 to 100 feet away from fireworks displays
- Do not allow your kids to pick up fireworks that have not ignited – stay away
You should skip the sparklers as well, as these can reach temperatures of around 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit which is more than enough to seriously burn or permanently scar little hands.