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It's A Jungle Out There! Preparing Your Backyard For Summer Play, Part 2
by the Paranoid Sisters
It is shocking that 13 million children under the age 14 are injured every year seriously enough to require hospital treatment, says Ron Bistolfo, Director of Education at the American Red Cross Bay Area Chapter in San Francisco, California. Backyard injuries are a contributor to that whopping number. In this follow-up piece, we look at several other hazards lurking in our backyards. Planning and common sense can go a long way in preventing injury to your child. Here's how you can help:

Putting Pedal to the Metal
Bike related accidents account for a whopping 383,500 emergency room visits every year. Always have your child's protective gear on when riding bikes, on roller blades, roller skates or any riding equipment. Gear includes a properly fitting helmet, elbow pads, knee and wrist pads. Long pants are a good idea too. Once again adult supervision is a must.

Barbecue Basics
When using a barbecue, establish a line around it which your children can not cross. They move faster than you expect and can be badly burned.

Be sure there is adult supervision at all times and the adult in charge is keeping a close eye on the barbecue. Keep all accessories stored in the garage such as lighter fluid, charcoal and special utensils.

Preventing Sunburn and Dehydration
"Skin cancer is a small trauma that adds up, usually beginning in childhood," warns Bistolfo. Limit sun time during the hours of 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. when the sun's rays are strongest. People often forget that children can get a sunburn even on cloudy days. Put on those cute hats and sunglasses when outside to protect faces and eyes. Using sunscreen every day is a great precaution and is part of a good routine. Apply it 30 minutes before going outside. When little ones are playing in the sand box or in the sprinklers remember water and sand reflect the sun's rays increasing the chance of sunburn. Be sure to dress your children in light colored clothes. They don't absorb heat and will keep them cooler. Serve up the water often. Remember kids get too busy playing to ask for a drink. Having them sip a beverage regularly will help prevent dehydration.

Watch the Water
A recent drowning death of a three-year-old in Walnut Creek, California, while reaching for toys at the bottom of a 32 gallon garbage can is a sad reminder that parents and caregivers need to be relentless regarding monitoring backyard dangers including toys, buckets or anything that can collect water. Don't think that it has to be a lot of water either, this little one drowned in four inches of water. Be sure to turn over anything that could pose a drowning hazard so that water can't collect in it. An infant can drown in less than an inch of water.

Safety is an ongoing process. As parents and caregivers we are constantly challenged to stay ahead of our childrens' developmental abilities. Following these tips will surely help your child's Summer memories be about playing in the yard, not crying in the emergency room.

Remember, safety first!

Read part one of this article here!

From the Paranoid Sisters



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