Summer Fun: 9 Tips to Keep Children Safe From Injuries and COVID-19

By: Kevin Borrup, DrPH, JD, MPA

Trauma season – that’s how emergency medicine providers and injury prevention experts often refer to the months of May through August. That’s because of the dramatic increase in the number of children injured during those warm spring and summer months. This year, these months are especially challenging as we continue to battle the COVID-19 pandemic.

Kevin Borrup, DrPH, JD, MPA, the interim director of Connecticut Children’s Injury Prevention Center, joins us with top tips for parents and caregivers to protect their children from trauma and COVID-19.

This summer, supervision, masks and other precautions will be key in keeping children safe, injury-free and healthy from COVID-19.

Here are easy tips to keep in mind: 

Summer Safety Tips

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  • Be a water watcher: Designate an adult to watch children closely when they are in a pool, a lake, or an ocean. Share the responsibility by taking turns with other adults.
  • Wear a life jacket: Young or inexperienced swimmers should wear life jackets when in the water. In addition, everyone in a boat should also wear a life jacket.
  • Never let children play with fireworks: Sparklers and other fireworks can be hot enough to melt metal. Fireworks are the cause of life-threatening injuries and burns in children every year.
  • Use window guards: Window screens are meant to keep insects out but will not stop a curious child from falling from a window. Attach window guards to your windows to ensure that windows open no more than four inches. Here are more steps for safety around the home.
  • Never leave a child alone in a vehicle: In as little as 10 minutes, the inside of a vehicle can become so hot that it can be deadly. Young children are typically unable to open car doors on their own to let themselves out. When riding in a vehicle with a child, place an important item such as a purse, wallet or shoe in the back seat so you won’t risk forgetting about your child.
  • Slow down when driving: People are driving faster now more than ever. Watch for children on residential streets, and around buses, ice cream trucks or other places where children play.
  • Practice social distancing: When connecting with other children and families who are not part of your immediate family, be sure to stay a minimum of six feet apart from other guests.
  • Wear masks: If it is not possible to keep six feet between your children and others, make sure they wear a mask. To ensure that they feel comfortable doing so, be sure to wear a mask often yourself to model this best practice. If your child is struggling with wearing a mask, or just getting started, here are tips.
  • Frequently wash hands: Ensure children and all family members practice proper handwashing, or hand sanitizing, while playing or when returning home from an outing to reduce the potential of getting sick.

Following these safety tips will help you enjoy the summer with your family in a safe and responsible way.

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