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An Eye on Safety: How to Keep Your Children Safe This Summer

Children's Health
Author name: Lee Health

A child’s exploration of their world means slips, falls and tumbles. That also means cuts, scrapes and maybe a light bruise now and then. A bandage here, a kiss on an “ouchie” there, and a few dried tears later, life goes on.  

Children can experience more serious injuries, of course. In fact, every year in the United States 7.7 million children are treated for injuries in emergency departments. But here’s the thing: most injuries are preventable.

Read on to learn how to protect children of any age safe from preventable injuries that can happen at home, in the car, at the pool, or on the playground.

Safety Begins at Home

Because of the pandemic, children are spending more time at home. But it’s easy to forget that home, like life outside of it, can pose its own potential safety hazards.

You can learn how to make your children feel safe while ensuring their health at home by visiting www.Safekids.org. Learn prevention tips and find out more about:

  • Falls
  • Fire, burns and scalds
  • General home safety
  • Liquid laundry packets
  • Medication safety

Outdoor Summer Safety

Summer fun brings an abundance of outdoor activities for the family. Make it a memorable and safe summer by ensuring your child’s health and safety precautions wherever their activities take them under the sun.

Water Safety Tips

  • Never leave a child unattended in a pool or spa and always watch children around any body of water. Designate a water watcher to supervise children in the pool or spa.
  • Wear Coast Guard-approved life jackets 
  • Check for layers of protection: doors with alarms, fences with self-closing/latching gates 
  • Learn how to swim and teach your child how to swim.
  • Learn how to perform CPR on children and adults.
  • Keep children away from pool drains, pipes, and other openings to avoid entrapments. Ensure any pool and spa you use has drain covers that meet federal safety standards.

Bike Safety Tips

  • Always wear a safety-approved helmet and stop at all stop signs and stoplights.
  • Ride on the right side of the road, with the flow of traffic.
  • Use appropriate hand signals and make eye contact with drivers.

Sun Protection Tips

  • Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher
  • Wear clothing and a wide-brimmed hat to protect as much skin as possible
  • Seek shade when possible, and remember that the sun’s ultraviolet rays are strongest between 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

Three Lee Health Hospitals Earn Highest Marks for Safe Infant Sleep

Safe sleep practices can mean the difference between life and death for babies. Southwest Florida parents can rest easy knowing their infants are sleeping well at three Lee Health hospitals.

Cape Coral Hospital, Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida, and HealthPark Medical Center each earned a gold certification from the National Safe Sleep Hospital Certification Program for its commitment to best practices and education on infant safe sleep.

The hospitals were only three of 10 in Florida to earn gold certification.

To achieve gold certification, the highest level of certification, the hospitals met specific criteria that included developing a safe sleep policy statement, training staff and parents on safe sleeping habits for babies, and providing community outreach.

Top tips for sleep safety

  • Place babies on their backs for naps and at night until they are 1 year old. Make sure babies sleep on a firm, flat surface in their own crib, bassinet or play yard.
  • Choose a firm mattress and fitted sheet for your baby’s crib. Remove toys, blankets, pillows, bumper pads, and other accessories from the crib.
  • Dress babies in a wearable blanket, onesie or similar clothing for every sleep. A loose blanket could cover your baby’s airway or make their body temperature too high.
  • Share your room, not your bed. Place your baby’s crib or bassinet in your bedroom instead of letting the baby sleep in the same bed with you.
  • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to assemble your crib. Make sure to complete and submit the product registration card to learn about any recalls or safety updates.

You can learn more about how to create a safe place for your baby to sleep here.

The Child Advocacy Department provides services at the Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida and the Golisano Children’s Health Center in Collier County. They also provide outreach services to Hendry, Glades and Charlotte counties.

For more information about the child advocacy programs and classes, visit www.leehealth.org/classes under the Women and Children Tab or call 239-343-5101.