For kids, summer means no school, popsicles, bike rides, and splash pads, but it can also bring a rise in motor vehicle accidents, bike crashes, drowning, and suicides. The 100 days between Memorial Day and Labor Day are the most dangerous for children and adolescents. Luckily, there are steps you can take to help keep your kids summer safe.
- Car seats can reduce the chance of a fatal injury by 71% for infants and 54% for children ages 1 to 4. Children between 8 to 12 years old and under 4 feet, 9 inches tall should use a booster seat. Uinta County Public Health and the Evanston Police Department can perform car seat checks to make sure your car seat is properly installed.
- Be sure to always check behind and in front of your car before pulling out of your driveway. Make sure all of your children are out of the way and within your eyesight. Kids have a tendency to run out and crowd around the car when you are saying your good-byes.
- Watch children carefully to make sure they are not getting too hot and that they are drinking plenty of water. Don’t leave your children alone in the car. On a hot day, the inside of the car can become fatally hot in only 20 minutes.
- Have your child wear a helmet when bike riding. Serious accidents can occur even on short trips. Just one fall can change your child’s life forever.
- Drowning doesn’t always look like drowning. It often is not loud or noisy. They don’t typically scream and thrash around like you see in the movies. It is normally deceptively quiet. Their face usually silently bobs up and down. It may even look like they are out of water enough to get air but there usually isn’t enough time to fully inhale and exhale. That is why constant supervision with eyes on your child the whole time is so important. When at the lake, everybody should wear a life jacket, not matter how old they are or how good they are at swimming. Even adults can quickly get in over their head or get injured and not be able to swim.
- Especially given the mental health challenges of social distancing that we are currently experiencing, it is more important than ever to watch out for depression in your teens. Be concerned if your teen drops hints about not being around for very long, experiences a change in eating or sleeping habits, starts to engage in risky activities, or experiences a sharp change in personality. If you think your teen is in immediate danger, call 911. If you suspect that your teen might be thinking about suicide, talk to him or her immediately. Reassure your teen of your love. Remind your teen that he or she can work through whatever is going on — and that you're willing to help. Also, seek medical help for your teen. Ask your teen's pediatrician to guide you.
Summer should be a time to make great memories as a family! Be safe!