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During summertime, play it safe, experts say

August 11, 2018

With schools out and temperatures up, it’s almost inevitable that kids will be soaking up the summer outdoors, sometimes unsupervised. The best treatment for seasonal accidents, experts say, is to prevent them in the first place.

Ensuring kids wear helmets and protective gear when on bikes, skates and scooters; keeping pools fenced off when an adult isn’t present; and being sure to use the proper safety seat restraints in a vehicle were among the top recommendations. Storing the number for the Poison Control Center (1-800-222-1222) in a parent’s cellphone is also helpful.

Vigilance is key, especially when children are near water, all agreed.

“Children always need to be supervised by an attentive caregiver,” said Deborah Hersman, president and CEO of the National Safety Council. “That means not reading, not being on a cellphone and not consuming alcohol.”

It also means making that expectation clear for other caregivers, said Hersman, a self-proclaimed “Safety Mom.” When in groups, she advises caregivers declare exactly who is watching young ones, and not simply assume that someone in the group is. Drowning, for instance, can take place quickly and quietly.

“There are a lot of ways to prevent some bad things from happening that are very easy to do,” Nozicka said. “A lot of these injuries in the summertime are preventable.”

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©2018 Chicago Tribune

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