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FOR RELEASE: May 15, 2001
CONTACT: Dick Gunn

Health Officials Offer Summer Safety Tips   

Looking forward to summer activities often means spending more time outdoors and traveling. The Oklahoma State Department of Health and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) want you to have a safe and fun summer by observing the following safety precautions:

Sun Safety

  • Babies under 6 months of age should be kept out of the direct sunlight.
  • Use sunscreen with at least a 15 (SPF) sun protection factor before going outside.  
  • Keep children out of the strongest sun’s rays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Pool Safety

  • Never leave children alone in or near the pool, even for a moment.
  • Make sure adults are trained in life-saving techniques and CPR.
  • Surround your pool on all four sides with a sturdy five-foot fence.
  • Keep rescue equipment (a long pole with a hook on the end, life preserver, and a portable telephone) near the pool.
  • Adults should be within arm’s length of infants or toddlers in or around water.

Bug Safety

  • Don't use scented soaps, perfumes or hair sprays on your child.
  • Repellents for use on children should contain no more than 10 percent DEET because the chemical is absorbed through the skin and 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.

Playground Safety

  • Make sure children cannot reach any moving parts of play equipment that might pinch or trap any body part.
  • Make sure metal slides are cool to prevent burning legs.
  • Avoid the use of trampolines for children younger than 6 years old.

Summer Camp Health Guidelines

  • Camps should have written health policies and protocols approved by a physician.
  • Camps should comply with immunization schedules recommended by the AAP and the local health department.
  • Provide medical information to camp authorities by the first day of camp.
  • Include emergency contacts including the child’s physician in the camp’s records.

Travel Safety

  • Buckle up car seats and seat belts.
  • Keep supplies with you, such as snacks, water, a first aid kit and any medicines.  
  • Always use a car seat, starting with your baby's first ride home from the hospital.
  • Read manufacturer instructions and vehicle owner manuals to properly install the car seat.
  • Put your child in the back seat. It is the safest place in the car because it is farthest away from a head-on crash (the most common type of crash).
  • Children in rear-facing car seats should never be placed in a front seat equipped with an air bag.
  • Children traveling alone should carry their medical information with them.

Dog Bites

  • Never leave your infant or young child alone with any dog.
  • Teach your child not to surprise or scare a dog, and not to approach a strange dog.
  • Instruct your child to stand still if approached or chased by a strange dog. Your child should face the dog and back away slowly until out of reach.
  • Contact your pediatrician or family physician whenever your child receives an animal bite.   


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