Fill-in-Blank News Release for County Health Departments
For Release: (Date), 2003
Contact: (Administrative Director)
_____ County Health Department
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 for Oklahomans.
“We hope these 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,” said _____ County Health Department Administrative Director _____.
- The best defense against the sun is to cover up. Wear a hat with a three-inch brim or a bill facing forward, sunglasses that block 99-100 percent of ultraviolet rays and cotton clothing with a tight weave.
- Use a sunscreen with an SPF (sun protection factor) of 15. Be sure to apply about one ounce per sitting for a young adult. Reapply every two hours, or after swimming or sweating.
- For young children, apply sunscreen at least 30 minutes before going outside and use it on cloudy days also. The SPF should be at least 15.
- 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.
- Dress babies in lightweight clothing that covers arms and legs and a brimmed hat.
- Remain well hydrated before and during prolonged physical activity.
- Stay in the shade whenever possible and avoid sun exposure during peak intensity hours between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
Heat Stress in Exercising Children
- The intensity of activities that last 15 minutes or more should be reduced when high heat and humidity reach critical levels.
- At the beginning of a strenuous exercise program or after traveling to a warmer climate, limit the intensity and duration of exercise, then gradually increase it during a period of 10 to 14 days to allow for acclimatization to the heat.
- Before prolonged activity, make sure your child is well hydrated, then during the activity, water should be offered about every 20 minutes.
- Clothing should be lightweight and limited to one layer to facilitate evaporation of sweat. Clothing saturated with sweat should be replaced with dry clothing.
- Never leave children alone in or near the pool. Whenever infants or toddlers are in or around water, an adult should be within arm's length.
- Be trained in life-saving techniques and CPR to be able to 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.
- Adults and children should wear life jackets at all times when on boats or near bodies of water.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Do not push a child to ride a two-wheeled bike until he or she is ready, about age 5 or 6.
- Buy a bike that is the right size. Oversized bikes are dangerous.
- 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 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 allow a child to ride on the lawn mower while you are cutting the lawn.
- Keep children indoors or a safe distance away from where you plan to mow.
- Make sure that sturdy shoes (not sandals or sneakers) are worn while mowing.
- Prevent injuries by picking up sticks and stones before mowing.
For more information, contact the _____ County Health Department at (phone number).