November is Child Safety and Protection Month
November is Child Safety and Protection Month, so we're bringing you tips to keep active kids safe while they're having fun!
- It seems like once they start, they just can't stop!
- First and foremost, make sure your child is wearing a helmet. Helmets are so important that they are regulated on a national level. When you're shopping for one, look for a sticker that indicates the helmet meets the standards set by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).
- Make sure the helmet fits snugly. Never wear a hat under a helmet and always adjust the straps so that it's not too loose or too tight and cannot be pulled off or twisted around.
- Be sure to secure any loose straps so that they don't hang in front of your child's face.
- If your child takes a fall and the helmet cushions the blow, invest in a new helmet. After an impact, they're less effective in preventing further injuries.
- Check oil and chains frequently, as well as brakes and tires. These should be changed with greater frequency the more your child rides.
- Teach your child the rules of the road — riding as far from traffic as possible, obeying all traffic signs, and even using hand signals to indicate when they plan to turn.
- After a long day in the classroom, there's almost nothing a child likes more than playing on the playground with friends. But beware — this also presents some hazards.
- Scan the scene first, looking for broken equipment or equipment that may be meant for children older than yours.
- Keep an eye out for ground that isn't impact-absorbent, such as gravel, dirt, or concrete. Your child might trip and fall, and mulch and woodchips will provide a much softer cushion.
- Continue to supervise your child while he or she plays, as it only takes a minute of unsupervised activity to lead to an accident.
- Be sure that your child is properly attired for the playground. This means sneakers and clothing that won't get caught on equipment, such as scarves and drawstrings. Hold on to any necklaces or purses that could have the same effect.
Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate!
- While your child is playing, it's important to make sure they're staying hydrated. The more active your child is, the more they sweat. And the more they sweat, the more water their bodies need.
- Follow the 8x8 rule: 8 glasses of water a day, 8 ounces each. Having trouble getting your child to drink water? Let them pick out or decorate a water bottle so they're proud to carry it around with them — and more likely to drink out of it!
- Don't wait until your child is thirsty to provide water. Have them take breaks every 20 minutes or so while playing to take even a sip of water, which will keep them hydrated. And be sure not to let the cool fall weather fool you. It's just as important to remain hydrated in cooler weather as it is in warmer weather, even if we're less inclined to feel thirsty.
- Don't substitute soda or juice for water. Most of these beverages contain sugar or caffeine that will speed up dehydration rather than prevent it.
Children abounding with energy shouldn't be held back. As long as you follow these safety precautions, as well as other tips for kids at websites like Safekids.org, your child will stay happy, healthy, and — most importantly — safe!