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Firework and outdoor safety tips for kids

Dyan Eybergen, a child and adolescent psychiatric nurse, has more than 10 years experience working as a therapist and parent educator. Eybergen currently resides in St. Albert, Alberta, with her husband and three sons. Out of the Mouths ...

Safe summer fun

Summer is synonymous with family picnics and fun in the sun. We have all been well informed about sunburn, heat exhaustion and the careful handling of food while outdoors in the summer heat, but there are a number of hidden summer dangers that we don’t always think about -- and that can be just as harmful to our family’s health.

Family outdoor with fireworks

Fireworks and Bonfire Safety

All modes of fire are hazardous and can cause injury.

  • Assign a designated firework "captain" who is in charge of all lighting and the enforcement of safety rules.
  • Supervise sparklers! They burn at up to 1800 degrees F (982 degrees C) and are responsible for about 10 percent of all fireworks-related injuries, especially in children under 5.
  • Do not re-light a firework if it didn't go off the first time; it could backfire and cause serious injury.
  • Use a nearby pail of water to put fires out.
  • Cover up embers from a bonfire with a metal grate so young people and pets won't step into smouldering cinders hours later and get burned (people have reportedly been injured from stepping into hot coals even the morning after a campfire).

Swimming

When it comes to water safety, we typically think about lifejackets as our first line of defence. But did you know that people can get really sick from germs in the water of pools, lakes and water parks?

  • Don't go into the water if you have diarrhoea, pinkeye, hepatitis A or other contagious diseases. Don't contaminate the water for someone else.
  • Don't go in the water if you have an open wound; it could become infected.
  • Rinse in a shower before swimming to clean off any soap residue (soap nourishes algae and bacteria, helping them grow).
  • Wash your hands after using the bathroom to stop the spread of infection from harmful bacteria.
  • Swim diapers are not leakproof and may seep germs into the water, so check babies and toddlers often; alert recreational staff if an accident occurs so pools can be evacuated and cleaned (chlorine takes up to one hour to kill e. coli bacteria!)

Next page: What to do if your child gets poison ivy >>

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