School’s Out: Play it Safe in Summer
The Solstice was last week, Summer is here!!!
That also means that School ends, and Summer Activities begin. Now, our pools, parks, patios and more are open and ready for enjoyment and gatherings. The increase of outdoor activities means more fun to be had, but also should mean a heightened awareness of best safety practices during outdoor activities like swimming, biking, camping, and other sports.
Swimming is a fun activity the whole family can enjoy, but caution is paramount when participating in water-based activities, whether at the beach like Port Burwell, a local pool, or a water park such as Earl Haig in Brantford, or Gibbons Park in London. Crowded waters can make it harder to supervise little ones, especially if you have more than one child. In addition to the obvious risks of drowning, slip and fall accidents are much more likely to happen near pools. Be sure to enforce “no running” rules, and remember that water slides can disorient riders, which calls for increased supervision when children exit a slide.
Warmer weather means more cyclists on the road, including popular mountain biking destinations like Boler Mountain. Cyclists should revisit the rules of the road, and remember that bike riding on sidewalks isn’t permitted past the age of 14. Fractures and head injuries suffered in cycling accidents can be very serious. Cyclists should all wear helmets and be aware that drivers of cars and trucks may not see people on bikes. The Ministry of Transportation offers a comprehensive bicycle safety page for information about cycling, helmet laws, and more.
Warmer weather means paying more attention behind the wheel. Be mindful of the fact that small children may be nearby and may not always be looking for dangers or paying attention — if they are chasing a ball into the street or crossing a road on their bicycle, for example. We also must be mindful of how many pedestrians are looking at their cell phones instead of at what’s in front of them on the sidewalk or in the crosswalk. To prevent being involved in a potentially dangerous accident, drivers should have a heightened awareness of the increase in foot and bicycle traffic this time of year. Remember, drivers always have the duty to drive safely and avoid pedestrians.
If your return to enjoying the outdoors includes visiting places like Pinery Park or Bruce Peninsula Park for camping, hiking, fishing, and other nature activities, be sure to practice safety when creating, containing and properly extinguishing campfires. Those who love the outdoors should always have a first aid kit with them to handle minor emergencies like cuts and scrapes. It’s also important to be aware of the increased danger of slip and fall injuries, particularly on softer or slippery ground, and around cliffs. Consider adding stretchy bandages to your kit to handle muscle strains or sprains. Stay on properly defined paths, within posted sign perimeters, and always carry your cell phone.
Playgrounds and Parks
Parks and playgrounds are a great destination for families, but parents should always reinforce the tenets of safe play, including when children share playground equipment and when play involves smaller children. Keep an eye on your children while they play—kids sometimes take dangerous risks that could end up resulting in a broken bone or a serious head injury after a fall. Always check park fixtures like picnic tables before use to make sure they aren’t broken and that there are no loose nails.
All sports carry the potential for injury. Whether your children are involved in basketball, football, baseball, softball, soccer, lacrosse, or other sports, be sure they’re wearing the proper protective gear for that specific activity at all times, and that proper medical care is sought promptly after any injuries, especially head injuries.
Summer is a very fun time for children, whether they are going to camp, participating in a team sport, or swimming, biking, or fishing. Accidents can and do happen. When they do, you may need help to access medical and legal resources. If you or your child is injured during your activities, we are happy to help. To learn more, please get in touch by email, or contact me by phone at 519.660.7810.