As summer approaches, many families are preparing to get out and enjoy the newly warming weather. In addition to stocking up on sunscreen, bug spray, and band aids, preparing with simple safety equipment can help ensure a safe and active summer.
Car Seats and Booster Seats
Heading out on a road trip, or just running out for a quick errand? Make sure all passengers are in the right restraint system to keep them safe during every ride.
For kids under height 4’9″, usually around age 8-12, that means they should be in a car seat or booster seat. Older children, teens and adults should all wear seat belts, which helps set the example. These aren’t just good ideas – they’re the law in Washington state.
Learn more at Boosterseat.org.
Safe Firearm Storage
Tools such as gun safes and trigger locks help protect kids and teens from firearm injuries, which is especially important when they spend more time at home during the summer break. With a little training and practice, the firearms are still accessible to adults for self protection while reducing risk to other members of the household.
Join HIPRC, Seattle Children’s, and other community partners for a Safe Firearm Storage Giveaway event on May 12, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. at Sportsman’s Warehouse, 1405 S. 348th St. in Federal Way, or learn more from LOK-IT-UP.
Life Jackets/Life Vests
Children under 5 years old should always wear a life jacket in or near water, and everyone should wear life jackets on open water such as lakes, rivers and oceans – even if they know how to swim. Experts say the life jackets should be worn at all times, not just available, as there may not be time to grab them during an emergency.
On every life jacket, check that it is approved by the U.S. Coast Guard, fits properly and doesn’t show any damage.
As cyclists take to sunny streets, remember to suit up with a properly fitted helmet. Helmets play a significant role in protecting cyclists from head and brain injuries, and the law requires them to be worn while biking in Seattle.
Bike helmet fittings and giveaways are available throughout the greater Seattle area during the summer.
Open windows help take advantage of nice weather, but they also pose a fall risk for young children. Harborview Medical Center sees about 40 to 50 children per year injured by window falls, HMC Chief of Pediatrics and HIPRC associate member Brian Johnston, M.D., said in a recent interview. Window screens help keep insects out, but they aren’t strong enough to keep children in.
Window guards or stops that prevents the window from fully opening help protect young children during day-to-day play, but they can be easily disabled by an adult for an emergency exit. They are usually available at general goods stores and hardware stores at low cost.
Other tips include placing climbable furniture away from windows and keeping play areas away from windows and doors.