Avoid Injury While Having Fun this Summer
By Erika Killen
County of Orange Social Services Agency
Summer is a time for families to unwind, relax and enjoy the many family-friendly activities Orange County offers. From public parks to beaches to amusement parks, there’s plenty of fun to be had. When planning your adventures, it’s important to keep safety in mind. Here are some safety tips to keep your children protected.
As you head out to the beach, lake, river or pool, always supervise your children. All bodies of water poses the risk of drowning. Be aware of the risks and follow safety guidelines anytime your children are near water. Learn more about these guidelines and get drowning prevention tips from the Orange County Fire Authority.
Sunny days often mean warm days. Never leave a child or pet unattended in a vehicle. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Summer Driving Tips 2021, heatstroke can occur when a child is left unattended in a parked car. The vehicle’s interior heats up very quickly and can rapidly reach deadly temperatures. A child’s body temperature rises three to four times faster than that of an adult. Create a plan to ensure children are never left unsupervised in a vehicle. Don’t forget to buckle up, too.
During the summer, family life gets busy and routines change. Children may spend more time at home. Be sure to talk to your children about window safety. According to a report by Safe Kids Worldwide, an average of eight children, 5 and younger, die each year from falling out of windows. Children’s Hospital of Orange County offers tips on how to keep children safe when around windows.
Stay out of the sun to avoid heatstroke. Be sure family members, including pets, stay well hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids. Apply sunscreen liberally and often to prevent sunburns. If walking on concrete or pavement, ensure it is cool to the touch. Hot surfaces can burn feet and paws. Also feel playground equipment before allowing children to play. Equipment exposed to the sun’s heat can easily reach unsafe temperatures causing severe burns.
Riding bicycles and skateboards is a great way for children to get exercise while having fun outside. It also provides children an opportunity to develop independence, confidence and social skills by connecting with neighborhood friends. Children should always wear protective gear. It is important for adults to model wearing helmets, elbow pads and shin guards while enjoying these activities. Be sure children understand traffic dangers and learn road rules.
Summer Activities Resources
California State Parks
California residents may use their library cards to visit state parks for free.
Huntington Beach Central Library
Plant a garden with the kids. The Huntington Beach Central Library offers a free, seed library that
allows four seed packets to be checked-out at one time. No need to return the unused seeds.
Get information about events and programs, such as the concert and cinema series, at the
regional parks, beaches and historic sites.