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5 Summer safety tips for kids

How would you handle a snakebite? What would you do if your child swallowed sunscreen? Or if a stingray interrupted your peaceful scuba dive? When it comes to first aid, you can’t be too prepared. Here’s a chance to brush up on your knowledge and your supplies, just in time for summer vacation.

Mom and First Aid KitA terrifying statistic from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP): the number one cause of death for children and adolescents ages 1 to 21 is injuries. And since so many childhood injuries can be avoided with a little preparation, we can prevent a great number of these deaths.

No one likes to think about emergency situations, but it’s part of being a responsible parent. If you had to call 911 from your cell phone, would you know your location? Sure, as you read this on your home or office computer, you know exactly where you are. But if you take your kids out for a fun afternoon — hiking, camping, or whatever — could you relate your location to emergency workers?Take three minutes to complete this quiz, and figure out how much you really know about first aid. Even if you got all the answers right, did you have to stop and think about any of them? A quick response can be critical in an emergency situation. By taking the time to learn how to respond ahead of time, you’ll be ready if the information is every truly needed. Now that you’ve seen that you don’t really know it all, you’re ready to learn. So here are five easy things you can do today to keep your kids safer this summer — and all year long.

1. Get a first aid kit — or three.

Head to your local drugstore and get yourself a first aid kit for the house. A second for the car and a third for keeping in the bag you take whenever you leave the house is also a great idea. “Ideally, kits should be kept in a place that is easily accessed by everyone in the home, except for small children,” said Don Lauritzen, an American Red Cross health and safety expert.

No time to hit the stores? Now through June 5, is featuring a special Web-only promotion — so nearly all of these CVS/pharmacy brand summer essentials are 30-40% off when you order them online.

2. Sign up for a CPR class.

Go to to find a local CPR class and sign up today. Yes, it’s a few hours out of your life. Better that than a lifetime of regret, wouldn’t you say? For less than $35, you can also order a CPR Anytime Kit (also from that can teach your whole family lifesaving skills in the comfort of your home in about 20 minutes. Parenting an infant? Learn the basic baby first aid all parents should know.

3. Work the numbers.

Take thirty seconds right now and program the number for Poison Control into your cellphone: 1-800-222-1222. Then print it out on labels and affix one to each phone in your home. Now you never have to worry about remembering the number, no matter where you are.

4. Get sun smart.

Read Sunscreen and Kids to find out the best way to protect your child’s skin from the sun. Make sure your kids know to apply sunscreen at least 30 minutes before going outside, and make them use sunscreen even on cloudy days.

5. Educate your kids and their caregivers.

Anyone who’s going to be hanging out with your kids — your friends, their friends, babysitters, whatever — should know the basics. Forward this article, or make up your own cheat sheet, but take the time to ensure that the people who are spending time with your child have the information necessary to save him in an emergency.

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