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Fill-in-Blank News Release for County Health Departments

For Release: _____, 2006
Contact: __________
_____ County Health Department
(Phone)

_____ County Health Department Offers Summer Safety Precautions

The _____ County Health Department is 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 _____.

Sun Safety

  • 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 at least 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 too. The SPF should also 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.

Pool Safety

  • 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.

Boat Safety

  • 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.

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.

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 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.

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.

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