Friday, May 29, 2015

Put Safety First This Summer

The first week of June kicks off the annual conundrum – kids excited about the freedom summer vacation brings, while parents contemplate how to keep them safe.

Summer is the time for many fun activities including family trips to theme parks, beach outings, backyard barbecues, and pool parties. It is important to keep safety in mind when engaging in these and other activities.

The Collier County Sheriff’s Office offers the following tips for a safe summer:

Out and About Safety

- Limit the amount of time your child is outside when the sun is most intense.
- Make sure your child is well hydrated at all times. If children are playing outside for more than an hour, incorporate a carbohydrate-electrolyte beverage in addition to water.
- Kids should wear light-colored cotton clothing, brimmed hats and sunglasses that block ultraviolet rays.
- Use a SPF 15 or higher sunscreen and reapply every two hours.
- Whenever riding in a vehicle make sure to always fasten your seat belt and that children are properly belted.

Water Safety

- NEVER leave children alone whether it is at a pool, the ocean or any other body of water. Always keep close supervision.
- If you own a pool, keep rescue equipment on-hand.
- If out boating, ensure children wear a properly-fitting lifejacket at all times.
- Kids should never dive into water unless an adult knows the water depth is appropriate as well as making sure there are no underwater objects.

Online Safety

- Teach your child to never give out their real name, where they live, where they attend school or other personal information over the Internet. Kids should never agree to meet anyone they’ve talked to online.
- Protect passwords.
- Never allow your child to have a computer in his or her room. Place the computer in a common area such as the living room.
- Do not give your child a web cam, camera phone, digital camera or video camera without close parental supervision.
- Closely monitor chat rooms your child visits.
- Regularly search your child’s Internet history and “cookies.”

Sports Safety

- Wear a helmet and other safety gear when biking, skating and skateboarding, and riding scooters, all-terrain vehicles and horses.
- Maintain all sports equipment – make sure everything fits properly and is in working order. If not, replace it.
- If possible, visit skateboard parks instead of riding in neighborhood streets.
- Never ride in or near traffic or without parental supervision.
- Keep a first aid kit within reach.

Stranger Danger Safety

- Kids who feel uncomfortable when someone approaches or tries to trick them should scream and run away. Tell a trusted adult. Parents/guardians should call 911.
- If your child is at home alone during the day, make sure he or she knows not to open the door to anyone unfamiliar.
- Don’t drop your child off at the mall, movies or parks. Always make sure there is a trusted adult there who can supervise.
- Kids should never tell anyone, including over the phone or Internet, that they are home alone.

For more tips on how to stay safe during the summer whether it is at home, the beach or hanging out with friends, visit