Keep your children safe this holiday by keeping in mind some easy extra precautions.
Protect Their Ears
According to a study , 12% to 15% of school-aged children have some level of hearing difficulties that can be credited to noise damage.
Despite this astounding numbers, I believe it is the least remembered safety precaution. I'll admit, I haven't thought too much about this unless I'm at a loud event with my daughters. Now that I am aware, I wanted to educate you how to protect your child's hearing.
Hearing loss of hearing can lead to speech delays, social difficulties & decreased academic scores if not caught and treated early so let's protect those ears with ear plugs (if older than 7 years old), ear muffs (as young as 6 weeks old), and sitting farther way from the source of noise (this time of year at least 500 feet from the launch area of the fireworks).
Avoid Eye Injuries
The CPSC says 19% of all firework related injuries occur to the eyes. This ranges from scratches and blurred vision to blindness. I also want to point out that this 19% that they list is not of "just" 50 or 100 injuries. It is 19% of 9,100 every year from fireworks!
Follow these rules with your children to prevent eye injuries:
- Don't let children light or play with fireworks. Period.
- Sit a safe distance away from the fireworks. This is vague as it depends on the type of fireworks being lit. Use your discretion but remember that spectators also are at high risk if not at a safe distance away.
- The adult lighting the fireworks should wear safety goggles
- Never shoot fireworks towards people.
- FYI: Sparklers can heat up to the same level as a blow torch~2000 degrees!
Having your child abducted is in every mother's top 10 worst nightmares. Unfortunately, the NCIC stated that in the end of 2017 32,000 children under 18 were in the missing persons file database.
Here are some ways to keep your child safe while in public.
- Educate them on who a stranger is.
- Discuss stranger conversation safety. Have them ask you before talking to an unknown adult.
- Teach your children basic identifying information such as their full name, your phone number and name & where they live.
- Educate them on staying where they can see you at all times.
Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the US and sunburns and excessive, unprotected levels of sun time is the leading cause of that cancer!
- Use 30+ spf sun screen
- Reapply as directed (typically 1 1/2 hours to 3 hours later)
- Reapply more if you/they are sweaty or swimming
- Wear protective clothing
- Wear a hat
- Wear sunglasses
- Stay in the shade as much as possible
- Avoid peak sun hours
Remember, you and your child may be exposed more to the suns damaging rays on a cloudy day than a sunny day to still take precautions.
4/5 Americans don't drink enough water (Cascade Business News) and according to National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey over half of children had "inadequate hydration". WHAT?! I found this crazy. Most Americans have access to clean water so lets utilize it and keep ourselves and our children hydrated. Dehydration can affect our concentration, GI difficulties, bad breath, dry skin and increases irritability.
For adults you want to drink half of your body weight in ounces. For children, they should drink 1 8 ounce cup for every year old they are, according to CHOC.org. This is on top of the other fluids you and they are drinking.
Lastly, I am sad to report that the CDC averages 2 children under 14 accidentally drown per day. This could be at a lake, a pool or even in the bathtub. During this fun holiday, many families visit nearby lakes and pools and this is a GREAT activity to bond, have FUN, cool off and improve gross motor skills. Just remember to follow simple safety rules to keep everybody safe.
Have children under 13 wear a life jacket near large bodies of water at all times; this includes on boats and docks.
Never take "bath breaks" when cleaning off the sunscreen or bug spray from the day. A "bath break" is a quick moment you step away when your child is in the bath tub. It takes only a few minutes for them to drown and it is very easy to get distracted and stay "just a moment" longer away than you expected.
Stay actively aware of where your children are when near water and never let them swim alone.
I wrote this not for you to not have fun or fret about safety the entire summer but, to keep in mind the simple practices to keep everybody safe and having FUN! Were you surprised by any of these facts or tips? Do you have anything I should add? Let me know in the comments.