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Summer is Almost Here

Have a safe Memorial Day

The calendar tells us that summer starts on June 21. But for me, summer starts on Memorial Day weekend, when I join aunts, uncles and cousins at the beach to open our old family cottage for the season. 

Whatever your plans are for your family this summer -- barbecues, swimming and boating, camping and hiking, long family road trips -- Safe Kids is here with our top summer safety tips to help keep your adventures as safe as they are fun.

Firing up the grill

Picnics and barbecues are a staple of the summer months.  Keep these tips in mind to keep kids safe around the grill:

  • Position the grill well away from siding, deck railings, out from under eaves and overhanging branches and a safe distance from lawn games, play areas, and foot traffic.
  • Keep children and pets away from the grill area by declaring a 3-foot "kid-free zone" around the grill.
  • Keep all matches and lighters away from children. Teach your children to report any loose matches or lighters to an adult immediately.
  • Always supervise children around outdoor grills.

Related Post: Grilling up Summer Safety.

In the water, on a boat

Whether it’s a day at the beach, an afternoon by the pool, or taking the boat out on the lake, remember these tips to keep your kids safe around any body of water:

  • Actively supervise children in and around water, giving them your undivided attention.
  • Teach children to swim with an adult. Older, more experienced swimmers should still swim with a partner every time. From the first time your kids swim, teach children to never go near or in water without an adult present.
  • Swimming aids such as water wings or noodles are fun toys for kids, but they should never be used in place of a U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket.
  • A large portion of boating accidents each year involve alcohol consumption by both boat operators and passengers. To keep you and your loved ones safe, it is strongly recommended not to drink alcoholic beverages while boating.

Related Posts: Diving into Water Safety   |   5 Tips for Safe Boating

Following the nature trail

Planning to escape the city this summer? Sending your kids to summer camp? Don’t forget these simple tips that will keep you safe on the trail, in the woods, and around camp fires.

  • Make sure your children have the appropriate clothing and gear. Camps will often send a required packing list. Follow it. The right gear will help your campers stay safe.
  • Give your children a few first aid basics such as when to use a bandage, what a tick might look like, and how to spot poison ivy.
  • Teach kids never to play with matches and lighters, and keep a bucket of water and a shovel near your camp fire. Always supervise children around an open flame.

Related Post: There is a Cow in the Tent

On the road again

Whether it’s a three-hour drive to the Outer Banks or a three-week road trip to the Grand Canyon, car travel is a great way to get where you’re going. Make sure your whole family arrives safely with these tips:

  • Buckling up on every ride is the single most important thing a family can do to stay safe in the car.
  • Seventy-three percent of car seats are not used or installed correctly, so before you hit the road, check your car seat. Here’s a quick car seat checklist to help you out.
  • Use a booster seat with the vehicle lap AND shoulder safety belts until your child passes the Safety Belt Fit Test.
  • Kids are VIPs – just ask them. VIPs ride in the back seat, so keep all kids in the back seat until they are 13.
  • Heatstroke is the leading cause of non-crash, vehicle-related deaths for children. Never leave your child alone in a car, not even for a minute.

Related Posts: Buckle Up for Nora   |   Heatstroke Safety Tips

Stay safe, have fun!

I encourage you to share these tips with other parents, and review summer safety with your kids. Then fire up that grill, jump into that lake and have an exciting summer, safe and sound.