Backyard summer fun

by Lyle Karasiuk

Summer fun usually involves lots of activity, especially when kids are around. A back-yard play day can easily turn to injury if some simple safety precautions are not followed. If a trampoline is in your back yard, follow these tips:

1. Ensure that your trampoline is properly assembled in a level area with at least 10 unobstructed feet (3 meters) on all sides and a minimum of 20 unobstructed feet (6 meters) above the trampoline bouncing surface. The area directly below the bouncing surface must be kept clear always.

2. Never jump off a trampoline, always climb off.

3. Keep your bouncing low and under control. Consistently land in the center of the trampoline.

4. Allow only one person on the trampoline at a time.

5. Do not leave children unsupervised on the trampoline.

6. Avoid bouncing for long periods of time and do not bounce when you are tired.

7. Do not use your backyard trampoline when under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

8. Ensure that spotters are always stationed around the trampoline.

9. Do not attempt back flips (back somersaults), multiple somersaults or twisting somersaults on your backyard trampoline.

If a trip to the playground is in order, or maybe parents have installed new backyard play equipment, you need to ensure your child’s safety there too!

• Please remove any objects that could strangle your child. Take off drawstrings in clothing or any type of helmet.

• Don’t let your child climb onto playground equipment with rope or skipping ropes.

• Check the equipment to ensure that there are no broken pieces or other dangers such as broken glass or other sharp hazardous objects.

• Ensure that the surface area under the playground equipment is soft with material that is at least 15 cm (6 in) deep.

• Spaces between bars or rails should be smaller than 9 cm (3 ½ in) and larger than 22.5 cm (9 in) so your child can not get stuck.

• Make sure children are supervised.

• Children should stay off equipment higher than 1.5 meters (5 ft). If your child needs help to climb up, then it’s too tall for them.

• Always slide feet first down any slide and wait your turn till everything is clear below.

• Teach your children to hold onto railings and to sit down on swings and slides.

• Stay clear of moving swings and slides.

Summer holidays are fast approaching. What is your family plans? Travel, trip to the lake, a staycation? Whatever the plans remember to “have a word with yourself before engaging in any activity to ensure you and your family’s safety. Also, wear the appropriate gear each time. It’s hard to replace some missing toes or fingers due a lawn mower, saw or hedge trimmers.

This month SGI and law enforcement agencies are highlighting passenger restraints such as seat belts or car seats.

Common mistakes of car seat users are the seat is not in tight; the child is not secured, or the child seat is not the right fit. Don’t be in a rush to move your child to the next seat. Rear facing has some significant safety advantages. Saskatchewan law mandates that children under 7, with a height less than 145 cm (4’9”) and under 36 kg (80lb.) in weight must be in a booster seat.

Summer is fast approaching. May all your travels be safe and secure!