Keep your family safe this summer by following
these tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). For sun and
water safety tips, see this tip sheet
. Please feel free to use them in any print or broadcast story,
with appropriate attribution of source.
- Fireworks can result in severe burns, blindness, scars, and
- Fireworks that are often
thought to be safe, such as sparklers, can reach temperatures above 1000
degrees Fahrenheit, and can burn users and bystanders.
- Families should attend
community fireworks displays run by professionals rather than using
fireworks at home.
- The AAP recommends prohibiting
public sale of all fireworks, including those by mail or the Internet.
- Don't use scented soaps,
perfumes or hair sprays on your child.
- Avoid areas where insects nest
or congregate, such as stagnant pools of water, uncovered foods and
gardens where flowers are in bloom.
- If possible, eliminate stagnant
water, such as in bird baths or fish ponds, in your yard. Dump any buckets
or tires that may contain standing water. Check that your window screens
are tightly fitted and repair any holes to keep bugs out of the house.
- Avoid dressing your child in
clothing with bright colors or flowery prints.
- To remove a visible stinger
from skin, gently back it out by scraping it with a credit card or your
- Combination sunscreen/insect
repellent products should be avoided because the sunscreen needs to be
reapplied every two hours, but insect repellent should not be reapplied
- Use insect
DEET when needed to prevent insect-related diseases. Ticks can transmit
Lyme Disease, and mosquitoes can transmit West Nile, Zika virus,
Chikungunya virus and other viruses.
- The current AAP and CDC
recommendation for children older than 2 months of age is to use 10% to
30% DEET. DEET should not be used on children younger than 2 months of
- The effectiveness is similar
for 10% to 30% DEET but the duration of effect varies. Ten percent DEET
provides protection for about 2 hours, and 30% protects for about 5 hours.
Choose the lowest concentration that will provide the required length of protection.
- The concentration of DEET
varies significantly from product to product, so read the label of any
product you purchase. Children should wash off repellents when they return
- As an alternative to DEET,
picaridin has become available in the U.S. in concentrations of 5% to 10%.
- When outside in the evenings or
other times when there are a lot of mosquitoes present, cover up with long
sleeved shirts, pants and socks to prevent bites.
- Children should wear hats to
protect against ticks when walking in the woods, high grasses or
bushes. Check hair and skin for
ticks at the end of the day.
- The playground should have safety-tested mats or loose-fill
materials (shredded rubber, sand, wood chips, or bark) maintained to a
depth of at least 9 inches (6 inches for shredded rubber). The protective
surface should be installed at least 6 feet (more for swings and slides)
in all directions from the equipment.
- Equipment should be carefully
maintained. Open "S" hooks or protruding bolt ends can be
- Swing seats should be made of
soft materials such as rubber, plastic or canvas.
- Make sure children cannot reach
any moving parts that might pinch or trap any body part.
- Never attach—or allow children
to attach—ropes, jump ropes, leashes, or similar items to play equipment;
children can strangle on these. If you see something tied to the
playground, remove it or call the playground operator to remove it.
- Make sure your children remove
helmets and anything looped around their necks.
- Metal, rubber and plastic
products can get very hot in the summer, especially under direct
- Make sure slides are cool to
prevent children's legs from getting burned.
- Do not allow children to play
barefoot on the playground.
- Parents should supervise
children on play equipment..
- Parents should never purchase a
home trampoline or allow children to use a home trampoline because of the
risk of serious injury even when supervised.
- Surrounding trampoline netting
offers a false sense of security and does not prevent many
trampoline-related injuries. Most injuries happen on the trampoline, not
from falling off.
- If children are jumping on a
trampoline, they should be supervised by a responsible adult, and only one
child should be on the trampoline at a time; 75% of trampoline injuries
occur when more than one person is jumping at a time.
- Homeowners should verify that
their insurance policies cover trampoline-related claims. Coverage is
highly variable and a rider may need to be obtained.
- A helmet protects your child
from serious injury, and should always be worn. And remember, wearing a
helmet at all times helps children develop the helmet habit.
- Your child needs to wear
a helmet on every bike ride, no matter how short or how
close to home. Many injuries happen in driveways, on sidewalks, and on
bike paths, not just on streets. Children learn best by observing you. Set
the example: Whenever you ride, put on your helmet.
- When purchasing
a helmet, look for a label or sticker that says the helmet meets the
CPSC safety standard.
- A helmet should be worn so that
it is level on the head and covers the forehead, not tipped forward or
backwards. The strap should be securely fastened with about 2 fingers able
to fit between chin and strap. The helmet should be snug on the head, but
not overly tight. Skin should move with the helmet when moved side to
side. If needed, the helmet's sizing pads can help improve the fit.
- Do not push your child to ride
a 2-wheeled bike without training wheels until he or she is ready.
Consider your child's coordination and desire to learn to ride. Stick with
coaster (foot) brakes until your child is older and more experienced for
hand brakes. Consider a balance bike with no pedals for young children to
learn riding skills.
- Take your child with you when
you shop for the bike, so that he or she can try it out. The value of
fitted bike far
outweighs the value of surprising your child with a new one. Buy a bike
that is the right size, not one your child has to "grow into."
Oversized bikes are especially dangerous.
- Your child should ride on the
right, facing the same direction as traffic, and should be taught to obey
all stop signs and other traffic control devices. Children should never
ride at night.
IN-LINE SKATING AND HEELYS SAFETY
- All skateboarders and scooter-riders should wear protective gear;
helmets are particularly important for preventing and minimizing head
injuries. Riders should wear helmets that meet ASTM or other approved
safety standards, and that are specifically designed to reduce the effects
of skating hazards.
- Communities should continue to
develop skateboard parks, which are more likely to be monitored for safety
than ramps and jumps constructed by children at home.
- While in-line skating or using
Heelys, only skate on designated paths or rinks and not in the street.
- Most injuries occur due to
falls. Inexperienced riders should only ride as fast as they can
comfortably slow down and maintain control. They should practice falling
on grass or other soft surfaces.
- Before riding, skateboarders
should survey the riding terrain for obstacles such as potholes, rocks, or
- Protective wrist, elbow and
kneepads should be worn.
- Children should never ride
skateboards or scooters in or near moving traffic.
- Children should never skate
alone. Children under the age of eight should be closely supervised at all
- Children who are too young to
have a driver's license should not be allowed to operate or ride off-road
vehicles. Children are involved in about 30 percent of all ATV-related
deaths and emergency room-treated injuries.
- Because their nervous systems
and judgment have not fully developed, off-road vehicles are particularly
dangerous for children younger than 16 years.
- Don't ride double. Passengers
are frequently injured when riding ATVs. Most ATVs are designed to
carry only one person: the driver. Passengers can make ATVs unstable and
difficult to control.
- All ATV riders should take a
hands-on safety training course.
- All riders should wear helmets,
eye protection, sturdy shoes (no flip-flops), and protective, reflective
clothing. Appropriate helmets are those designed for
motorcycle (not bicycle) use, and should include safety visors/face shields
for eye protection. Wearing a helmet may prevent or reduce the severity of
- ATVs lack the common safety
equipment found on all cars and trucks that are designed for street use.
ATV tires are not designed to grip on pavement, so operators should not
ride on paved roads. Parents should never permit nighttime riding or
street use of off-road vehicles.
- Flags, reflectors and lights
should be used to make vehicles more visible.
- Drivers of recreational
vehicles should not drive while under the influence of alcohol, drugs or
even some prescription medicines. Parents should set an example for their
children in this regard.
- Young drivers should be
discouraged from on-road riding of any 2-wheeled motorized cycle, even
when they are licensed to do so, because they are
inherently more dangerous than passenger cars.
LAWN MOWER SAFETY
- Only use a mower with a control
that stops the mower blade from moving if the handle is let go.
- Children younger than 16 years
should not be allowed to use ride-on mowers. Children younger than 12 years should not use
- Make sure that sturdy shoes are
worn while mowing.
- Prevent injuries from flying
objects, such as stones or toys, by picking up objects from the lawn
before mowing begins. Have anyone who uses a mower wear hearing and eye
- Do not pull the mower backward
or mow in reverse unless absolutely necessary, and carefully look for
children behind you when you mow in reverse.
- Always turn off the mower and
wait for the blades to stop completely before removing the grass catcher,
unclogging the discharge chute, or crossing gravel paths, roads, or other
- Do not allow children to ride
as passengers on ride-on mowers.
- Keep children out of the yard
- Drive up and down slopes, not
across, to prevent mower rollover.
- Keep guards, shields, switches,
and safety devices in proper working order at all times.
- If children must be around
running lawnmowers, they should wear polycarbonate protective eye wear at
© American Academy of