Summer is SO MUCH FUN, and even moreso when it’s SAFE!
3 Things to Teach Your Kids!
Work on getting in and out of the pool safely. Elbow, Elbow, Tummy, Knee! Help your little ones learn how to get out of the pool by manipulating their bodies in this order: elbow, elbow, tummy, knee. Practice this often; you can even do this on your living room floor by having your baby climb onto a couch or chair! After you practice, always remember to celebrate. Eventually, your little one will be strong enough to manage the movement on his or her own! This is a skill that kids continue to use to safely exit the pool — even when they are older!
Jump, Turn, Swim to the Wall! Once your child has the movement down, let him jump off the side of the pool to you, help him physically turn back to the wall and then assist them in getting out of the pool by using the elbow, elbow, tummy, knee method. Do this over and over again, as llittle swimmers become more confident let them go under the water and come to the surface on their own. This teaches kids to automatically turn back to the wall behind them to climb out. If a child were to fall into a pool, this skill could help him find the quickest way to safety.
Sea Otter Float. Work with your child on turning over and getting his face out of the water to take a breath when he fatigues.
2 Things to Do Yourself!
Designate a “Water Watcher”. Whether you are by the pool, the lake, or even oceanside, be sure there is one adult who has their eyes on the kids in the water at all times. This person should not be distracted in any way! No phones, no earbuds, no reading – just eyes on the water. Take turns sharing this role so everyone can have a good time.
Check life jackets for the safest fit. Kids often end up in jackets that are ill-fitting, and if they do fall into the water this can cause them to be imbalanced and do more harm than good. You can see a great example of the difference in THIS VIDEO.
CAR SEAT SAFETY
Learn proper installation. Properly fitted buckles and clips keep a seat more secure in the case of an accident, so be sure you are using the set-up that is intended for your car seat (which can be found along the side or base). Learn more and scheduled a car-seat check HERE.
Don’t upgrade your seat too soon. Children should be rear-facing until at least two years old, then follow the safety guidelines for appropriate height/weight before moving to a booster.
Wear helmets the right way. This might seem like a no-brainer, but so many parents either don’t enforce this rule (which is the law) or they don’t set an easy-to-follow example by wearing a helmet themselves. Helmets need to fit right to be safe. They should fit low on the forehead, just above the eyebrows, the ear straps should form a V around the ear, and the chin buckle should be tight enough that only one finger fits between the buckle and the chin. If you’re hosting a safety event, check out the Stay Ahead of the Game program for free helmets and education.
Get a FREE baseline concussion screening. With summer sports and fun, accidents are bound to happen, but being prepared (especially if your child plays a contact sport) can help. Dayton Children’s can do a baseline screening of behaviors BEFORE a concussion occurs at any of their centers. Learn more and see a list of screening centers HERE.
Stay hydrated. Sugary sports drinks are not your friend on those long, hot summer days. Water or other no-sugar drinks will keep you cool and hydrated longer!
Keep a full bucket of water accessible. Whether you are grilling, hosting a firepit, or having fun with sparklers, accidents can happen quickly. Having a safe place to drop hot sparkler stems keeps them from littering the ground waiting to singe little toes. Additionally, firepits should never be close to your house! Learn more HERE.