Outdoor Safety Tips for Safe Summer Play

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    kids swimming
    by Andrea Klassen

     

    As the weather gets nicer, children are out burning energy while enjoying the sunshine. Whether they are cycling, swimming or playing on the playground, here are some tips to keep them safe when playing outside this summer:

    Helmet & Cycling Safety:

    • It is Alberta law that all individuals under the age of 18 wear a bicycle helmet. Helmets expire, replace them every five years;

    • Every individual riding a bike, regardless of their age, should wear a helmet – be a good role model;

    • If your child is riding in a carrier or being pulled in a bike trailer, a helmet is still required by law;

    • Check your child’s bicycle for loose chains and improper breaks – fix them if they are not working properly or are broken;

    • Ensure your child’s helmet is fitting properly – use the 2-V-1 rule. 2 fingers above the eyebrows, a “V” shape around the ears and 1 finger underneath the chin;

    • Ensure your child knows the proper hand signals for cycling and ensure all cyclists are visible to motorists.

    • Ensure you are getting the correct helmet size for you child.

    Playground Safety:

    • Always supervise your children;

    • Keep your child off equipment that is higher than 1.5 meters high (5 feet);

    • Ensure there are no trip hazards in the play area, like tree stumps, rocks, or exposed concrete footings;

    • Encourage children to use playground equipment that fits their age and stage of development;

    • Ensure the kids are dressed for safe play – with footwear, and without helmets. Clothes with drawstrings, scarves or loose hair or clothing can get caught on playground equipment and cause injury.

    Water Safety:

    • Keep active supervision of children when they are around or in water – stay within reach of your child;

    • Proper pool fencing – fences should be at least four feet tall and self-closing and self-latching;

    • Proper use of lifejackets – including doing up zippers and buckles;

    • As an adult, train yourself in First Aid and CPR;

    • Get your children trained in swimming to help increase their confidence and swimming skills;

    • Wear water-appropriate footwear – wear water shoes that have grips and will prevent children from slipping or from getting cuts and scrapes;

    • Teach older children the rules of safe play around water – walk, don’t run;

    • Look first into all water sources; ensure there are no hazards in the water that could harm you or your child.

    Andrea Klassen is a Health Promotion Facilitator with Alberta Health Services, and can be reached via e-mail: [email protected]

     

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