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Fill-in-the-Blank News Release
for County Health Departments
Summer Safety Tips

For Release: June __, 2002
Contact: (Administrator)
_____________ County Health Department
(Telephone number)

Summer Safety Tips

The _______ County Health Department and the American Academy of Pediatrics are releasing summer safety tips to help promote a safe and happy summer.

"A few safety prevention tips can go a long way to make your summer more enjoyable and less likely to be ruined by a disaster or an accident. We hope that the more information we get out to the community, the better prepared people will be," said ________________. Some general safety tips include:

Sun Safety

  • Use a sunscreen with an SPF (sun protection factor) of 15. Be sure to apply about one ounce per sitting for a young adult.
  • Babies under 6 months of age should be kept out of the direct sunlight. Move your baby to the shade or under a tree, umbrella, or the stroller canopy.
  • Remain well hydrated before and during prolonged physical activity.

Pool Safety

  • Never leave children alone in or near the pool, even for a moment. Whenever infants or toddlers are in or around water, an adult should be within arm's length.
  • Make sure adults are trained in life-saving techniques and CPR so they can rescue a child.
  • Surround your pool on all four sides with a sturdy five-foot fence. Make sure the gates self-close and self-latch at a height children can't reach.
  • Keep rescue equipment (a shepherd's hook - a long pole with a hook on the end - and life preserver) and a portable telephone near the pool.
  • Avoid inflatable swimming aids such as "floaties." They are not a substitute for approved life vests and can give children a false sense of security.

Boat Safety

  • Children should wear life jackets at all times when on boats or near bodies of water. Also, adults should wear life jackets for their own protection and to set a good example.
  • Make sure the life jacket is the right size for your child. The jacket should not be loose. It should always be worn as instructed with all straps belted.
  • Blow-up water wings, toys, rafts, and air mattresses should never be used as life jackets or life preservers. They are not safe.

Bug Safety

  • Don't use scented soaps, perfumes or hair sprays on your child.
  • Repellents appropriate for use on children should contain no more than 10 percent DEET because the chemical, which is absorbed through the skin, can cause harm.
  • Avoid areas where insects nest or congregate, such as stagnant pools of water, uncovered foods and gardens where flowers are in bloom.
  • Avoid dressing your child in clothing with bright colors or flowery prints.
  • To remove a visible stinger from skin, gently scrape it off horizontally with a credit card or your fingernail.

Playground Safety

  • Carefully maintain all equipment.
  • Swings should be made of soft materials such as rubber, plastic or canvas.
  • Make sure children cannot reach any moving parts that might pinch or trap any body part.
  • Make sure metal slides are cool to prevent children's legs from getting burned.
  • Don't purchase or allow children to use home trampolines.

Bicycle Safety

  • Do not push your child to ride a 2-wheeled bike until he or she is ready, about age 5 or 6.
  • Buy a bike that is the right size, not one your child has to "grow into." Oversized bikes are especially dangerous.
  • Always wear a helmet approved by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).

Skateboard and Scooter Safety

  • Children should never ride skateboards or scooters in or near traffic.
  • All skateboarders and scooter-riders should wear a helmet and other protective gear.
  • Communities should continue to develop skateboard parks, which are more likely to be monitored for safety than ramps and jumps constructed by children at home.

Lawn Mower Safety

  • 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.
  • Never ride a child on the lawn mower while you are cutting the lawn.
  • Make sure that sturdy shoes (not sandals or sneakers) are worn while mowing.
  • Prevent injuries from flying objects, such as stones or sticks, by picking up objects before mowing.
  • Make sure that children are indoors or a safe distance away from where you plan to mow.
  • Start and refuel mowers outdoors, not in a garage or shed. Mowers should be refueled with the motor turned off and cool.
  • Make sure that blade settings (to set the wheel height or dislodge debris) are changed by an adult, with the mower off and the spark plug removed or disconnected.
  • Do not pull the mower backward or mow in reverse unless absolutely necessary, and carefully look for children behind you when you mow in reverse.
  • Turn off the mower and wait for the blades to stop completely before removing the grass catcher, unclogging the discharge chute, or crossing gravel paths, roads, or other areas.

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