As summer heats up, safety advocates show children and families how to have fun and stay safe
Washington, D.C. – The summer is one of the most exciting times of the year for kids, but it’s also a time when kids can be at risk for injuries. Today, Safe KidsWorldwide, in partnership with The Links, Incorporated, the General Motors Foundation, Target, and Prince George’s County Kentland Palmer Park Transforming Neighborhoods Initiative hosted Summer Safety Fun Day at FedEx Field to encourage parents and caregivers to be prepared with simple safety tips this summer season.
“Many people are surprised to learn that preventable injuries are the number one killer of kids in the United States,” said Kate Carr, president and CEO of Safe Kids Worldwide. “This is a day to celebrate kids and make learning about preventable injuries fun. Whether it’s staying safe in and around water, wearing a helmet while biking or putting devices down when you cross the street, we’re teaching families the little things they can do to make sure every kid is a safe kid.”
Hundreds of kids of all ages learned how to stay safe through several interactive activities, including a water safety station where kids were properly fitted with life jackets and competed in a relay race, as well as a sports safety station where kids learned about the importance of drinking water and recognizing the signs and symptoms of a concussion. In addition, kids were fitted with their own bike helmet at the bike safety station and learned some fire safety tips while touring a fire truck.
As part of the event, nationally certified child passenger safety technicians were on hand to help families make sure their car seats are properly installed.
“As long-time partners of Safe Kids, GM and the GM Foundation are committed to keeping kids safe in and around vehicles,” said GM Foundation President Vivian Pickard. “Our goal today is educating families on the importance of installing car seats correctly and buckling up on every ride, every time.”
“The Links, Incorporated is excited to kick off our 39th National Assembly this week in Washington, D.C. metro area with this great community event, a hallmark of our biennial conferences,” said Margot James Copeland, national president of The Links, Incorporated. “We know kids are going to get bumps and bruises, but we can help protect them from more serious injuries with events like these where parents and families can learn how to keep kids safe.”
Safe Kids Worldwide recommends the following top tips to stay safe during the summer:
- Give kids your undivided attention around water. Non-stop supervision, without distraction is essential. Babies can drown in as little as one inch of water. Use the Water Watcher card strategy to prevent lapses in supervision.
- Wear life jackets. Always have your children wear a life jacket approved by the U.S. Coast Guard while on boats, around open bodies of water or when participating in water sports. Make sure the life jacket fits snugly. Have the child make a “touchdown” signal by raising both arms straight up; if the life jacket hits the child’s chin or ears, it may be too big or the straps may be too loose.
- Talk to kids about how to be safe while walking. It’s always best to walk on sidewalks or paths and cross at street corners, using traffic signals and crosswalks. Teach kids at an early age to put down their devices and then look left, right and left again when crossing the street.
- Drink water during sports.Have your kids bring a water bottle to practice and games and drink plenty of water before, during and after play. This is especially important in summer months to avoid dehydration.
- Wear a helmet for biking and other wheeled sports. We have a simple saying: "Use your head, wear a helmet." It is the single most effective safety device available to reduce head injury and death from bike crashes. Kids should wear a helmet when riding a scooter, skating, skateboarding or biking.
- Never leave your child alone in a car, not even for a minute. It can be tempting to leave a child alone in a car while you quickly run into a store, but it can cause serious injury or even death in a matter of minutes. Reduce the number of deaths from heatstroke by remembering to ACT – avoid heatstroke, create reminders, and take action if you see a child left alone.
About Safe Kids Worldwide
Safe Kids Worldwide is a nonprofit organization working to prevent childhood injury, the number one killer of children in the United States. Throughout the world, almost one million children die of an injury each year, and almost every one of these tragedies is preventable. Safe Kids works with an extensive network of more than 500 coalitions in the U.S. and with partners in more than 25 countries to reduce traffic injuries, drownings, falls, burns, poisonings and more. Since 1988, Safe Kids has helped reduce the U.S. childhood death rate from unintentional injury by 56 percent. Working together, we can do much more for kids everywhere. Join our effort at safekids.org.
About the GM Foundation
Since its inception in 1976, the GM Foundation has donated hundreds of millions of dollars to American charities, educational organizations and to disaster relief efforts worldwide. The GM Foundation focuses on supporting Education, Health and Human Services, the Environment and Community Development initiatives, mainly in the communities where GM operates. Funding of the GM Foundation comes solely from GM. The last contribution to the GM Foundation was made in 2001. For more information, visit www.gm.com/gmfoundation.
About The Links, Incorporated
The Links, Incorporated celebrates more than 65 years as a women’s volunteer service organization committed to enriching, sustaining and ensuring the cultural and economic survival of African Americans and other persons of African ancestry. A premier international service organization with more than 12,000 members in 281 chapters located in 41 states, the District of Columbia, and the Commonwealth of the Bahamas, its legacy of friends providing service that changes lives, established by the original circle of nine friends in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1946, is alive and well.
The members of The Links, Incorporated are influential decision makers and opinion leaders. The Links, Incorporated has attracted many distinguished women who are individual achievers and who have made a difference in their communities and the world. They are business and civic leaders, role models, mentors, activists and volunteers who work towards a common vision by engaging like-minded organizations and individuals for partnership. With more than 2 million service hours recorded in the past three years, members regularly contribute more than 500,000 documented service hours in their respective communities annually.
Minneapolis-based Target Corporation (NYSE: TGT) serves guests at 1,916 stores – 1,789 in the United States and 127 in Canada – and at Target.com. Since 1946, Target has given 5 percent of its profit through community grants and programs; today, that giving equals more than $4 million a week. For more information about Target’s commitment to corporate responsibility, visit target.com/corporate responsibility.
The Transforming Neighborhoods Initiative (TNI) is an effort by Prince George’s County to focus on uplifting six neighborhoods in the county that face significant economic, health, public safety and educational challenges. Through this initiative, the county will improve the quality of life in those neighborhoods, while identifying ways to improve service delivery throughout the county for all residents.