While we are all excited to get out and celebrate easing restrictions and the return to beach vacations and family barbeques, it’s important to follow these safety tips for keeping your family safe this summer:
- Teach children how to swim in both pools and open water. Swimming in open water is different from swimming in pools, given the currents, cold temperature, unknown depth and limited visibility.
- Swim in public places that have a lifeguard on duty at all times.
- Designate a “watcher” who is engaged and alert. For younger children, an adult should stay close enough to quickly pull a child above the water.
- All children on watercraft (boat, kayak, canoe, paddleboard or any motorized watercraft) should be fitted with a lifejacket—no matter how confident you are in their swimming skills.
- Families with backyard pools are encouraged to have four-sided fences around the pool to prevent children from entering without an adult knowing, and place an alarm on the gate that will go off if any children try to access the pool.
Be prepared in the event of an emergency:
- Take a cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) class. Having this skill can help in a drowning emergency. Early CPR increases the chances of a child surviving drowning.
- When bystanders initiate rescue breathing, chest compressions and call 911 right away, children are more likely to survive.
- For more information on learning CPR, visit here or contact Molly’s Place at CHaD for a free “CPR Anytime Kit” for families by calling (603) 653-9899.
Never leave a child in a vehicle unattended:
- Check the backseat every time you exit the car. Keep personal items such as purses on the rear floor so that checking the rear seat area becomes a habit.
- When not using your car, always lock your car and put your keys out of reach.
- If you ever see a child left alone in a hot vehicle, call 911 right away.
Know the warning signs of heatstroke, which include:
- Red, hot and moist or dry skin
- No sweating
- A strong rapid pulse or a slow, weak pulse
- Acting strangely
Find more information on heat stroke and hot car safety.
Protection from the sun
- Use a sunscreen containing the active ingredients zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. Look for an SPF between 30 and 50, and check the ingredient label. Chemical-free sunscreens can be used on children of any age, including infants less than six months.
- Apply sunscreen correctly: apply liberally before going outside and reapply every one and half to two hours or sooner if there is water play or vigorous exercise. Supervise sunscreen application for younger children and teach them to apply it correctly.
- Have your child wear sun-protective clothing such as long-sleeved shirts, swim tops and broad-brimmed hats that shade the face.
- Seek shade when possible. Plan your visit to the pool or beach either early in the morning or later in the day when the sun is not as intense.
The best way to enjoy fireworks is to leave them to the professionals.
- Be prepared:
- Know the laws. You must be 21 years of age to purchase, possess and use permissible fireworks in the State of New Hampshire. You must be on your own property or have written permission to use someone else’s property, or be in the landowner’s presence. You must also follow local ordinances, which may have further restrictions on fireworks in your area.
- Do your research. Make sure you are using New Hampshire permissible fireworks. You should only purchase fireworks from a licensed retailer, where sales associates are trained to answer your questions. Follow all manufacturer safety instructions and if you have questions, ask your retailer for help.
- Prep your area. Call your local fire department to check on current fire danger conditions. Make sure there is enough space from structures and make safety preparations, such as having a fire extinguisher, hose and buckets of water nearby.
- Be safe:
- Protect yourself. Always wear eye and ear protection, gloves and clothing that cannot easily ignite (e.g., no nylon).
- Keep spectators at a safe distance. Each firework device has a specific safety distance listed in its instructions. All fireworks should be set off outdoors and away from anything that can burn or easily ignite. Light only one device at a time and move away quickly.
- Be responsible:
- Be considerate. Not everyone enjoys fireworks. Veterans, pets, livestock or your neighbors may not appreciate the sounds and effects of fireworks. Check with neighbors before making any plans for firework activity.
- Stay cautious. Devices that don’t fire are extremely dangerous. If a firework does not discharge, keep away for 10 minutes or more, then ensure that the firework has been filled with water or placed in a bucket of water.
- Clean up. Clean up firework debris when finished. Make sure any debris or items used to light fireworks (matches, lighters) are secured and out of the reach of children.
- There are no “minor” fireworks.
- Sparklers can easily burn little hands, and have caused children’s clothing to catch on fire. Leave the sparklers for adults to handle and send the kids off with glow sticks or novelty LED lights.
Find more information on fireworks safety.
Find additional safety information from CHaD's Injury Prevention Program.