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Make the Most of Summer by Staying Safe

June 06, 2011

Tallahassee, FL – Injuries to children under age 18 typically hit their peak during the months from May to August. As school ends, Capital Regional Medical Center wants to ensure the safety of children in the Tallahassee area.

“Summer months mean that kids have more time on their hands and are more active, which can set them up for injury without proper prevention,” says Dr. James Calabro, Chair of the Emergency Medicine Department at Capital Regional Medical Center. “It’s important that parents are educated on the most common injuries and work to avoid them.”

Capital Regional Medical Center offers the following summer safety tips:

Water Safety

“Each day, two children under age 14 die from drowning,” says Julia Daum, an Infant Swimming Resource Master Instructor in Tallahassee. “It’s important for parents and caretakers to exercise preventative measures to keep children safe.” She offers the following guidelines for parents:

  • Ensure your pool has a sufficient barrier to keep children from wandering too close when unsupervised, such as a fence. Check the barrier frequently to ensure its integrity and make sure that nothing is nearby that could serve as a “ladder,” such as a pool chair.
  • Always designate an adult to be a “water watcher” and supervise children in the pool. Be sure the individual is not distracted by talking on the phone, reading or talking to others.
  • Teach your child to swim. Programs such as ISR can instruct children as young as six months to save themselves when in a potential drowning situation. The risk of drowning for children ages 1-4 can be reduced by 88% with participation in formal swimming lessons. 

Sun Safety

  • Protect kids with a broad spectrum sunscreen of SPF 30 or higher anytime they are outdoors, even if the sun isn’t strong. Reapply every two hours or after sweating or swimming. Take note that the sun’s rays are the strongest between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., and clouds do not prevent exposure to burning rays.
  • Be sure that children drink plenty of water. Even on mild Tallahassee days, kids need to have plenty of water each day, especially if playing or exercising vigorously. 
  • When the temperature is 90 degrees or above and humid, children should not exercise or play outside for more than 30 minutes at a time.
  • Be aware of the signs of heatstroke, which include nausea, vomiting, exhaustion, headache, dizziness and muscle cramps. If your child exhibits these signs, cool them by sitting them in cool water, fanning them and placing ice packs around them. Seek emergency care immediately if the child’s temperature exceeds 101 degrees and doesn’t fall with the above treatment options.

Home Safety

  • If children are staying at home alone, ensure they do not answer the door for anyone when parents are not home.
  • Ensure that children have access to emergency contact information. The best thing to do is place a list of emergency numbers in an easily-accessed area in the house, such as next to the telephone or on the refrigerator. Include parents’ work and cell phone numbers, the numbers for a trusted friend or relative and the doctor’s phone number.

Capital Regional Medical Center served more than 12,000 pediatric patients in its emergency room in 2010. With the shortest wait times in the area, Capital Regional offers the highest quality, most efficient emergency care in the area.

To learn more about Tallahassee Infant Swim Resource, go to www.isrtallahassee.com