Although I try to stress the importance of safety every day, a holiday like Memorial Day is a time to be especially on guard. Many accidents and tragedies happen when you get out of your normal routine, such as at a family get together, pool party, or day on the lake.
To help make sure your kids are safe today:
- designate an adult, who is not drinking alcohol, to watch children when they are in or near the water, whether it is a pool, lake, or shore of a river
- make sure kids can't get back in the water if the adults go inside the house, maybe even have them wear a life-jacket until the party is over if they are going in and out of the water
- make your kids wear a safety approved life jacket when on a lake, river or ocean while boating, water skiing, jet skiing or tubing.
- if any child goes missing, first quickly check any nearby water and then check all cars, including the trunk, as these are high-risk spots and every second can count if your child has drowned or is trapped in a hot car
- remember that the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children under age 16 years not ride ATVs, as they are dangerous, even when kids ride without passengers and wear a helmet
- protect your kids in the sun, including applying sunscreen early and reapplying sunscreen often, limiting sun exposure when the sun's rays are strongest, seeking shade, and wearing clothing for even more sun protection
- be careful if you go to a Memorial Day Parade. Be sure to supervise your kids who are on, or walking near parade floats, and don't let kids run into the street after candy or other items thrown from the floats.
And last but not least, protect your kids from food poisoning by washing your hands, avoiding cross-contamination when preparing and cooking food, and not leaving food out too long today.