With the arrival of spring, we all want to be outdoors whether that’s going for a walk, hopping on a bicycle or simply working or playing in the yard, getting some exercise is essential. With the increased activity everyone needs to be reminded to be safe and practice safety in all our activities.
The number one cause of injury in the 5-9 year old age group is pedestrian injuries. Why? At this age they lack judgment and the perceptual skills to safely navigate intersections and streets. So what can we all do to prevent injury?
- Motorists should reduce their speed especially in residential areas or near playground areas.
- Teach your children to stop at driveways, alleys and areas without curbs and to never run out into the street.
- Teach your children to cross at the corner by stopping to activate the pedestrian cross signals (if the exist), look both ways and listen for oncoming traffic. Wait and keep looking to ensure no vehicles are coming. When crossing the street to walk, don’t run and look the driver of the vehicle in the eye while they are in the crosswalk.
- School patrollers should be respected and play an important role at school crossing intersections. Children should be taught to obey their directions.
- Teach children to walk on the sidewalk, never on the street, but a far away from traffic as possible. If there are no sidewalks always walk facing traffic.
- Teach children to never cross between parked cars.
- Teach children that playing games around railway tracks or railway crossings can be deadly. The only safe way to cross a railway track is at the designated crossing.
- Parents be a good role model as our children mimic what we see, so don’t cross in the middle of the block if you want your child to cross at the intersection.
With more activity outdoors, you might consider buying your children a swing, slide or other play apparatus. Follow a few of these simple guidelines will prevent injury incidents:
- Start with equipment the children can use safely now vs. buying something they will grow into.
- Falls from play equipment are a cause of injury: deep, soft surfaces underneath such as wood chips; keep heights low; ensure equipment has guard rails; children under five should avoid high equipment.
- Swing seats should be made of rubber or soft seats.
- Ensure equipment is firmly anchored to prevent it from tipping.
- Take off any cords or strings that could strangle your child during play.
- Always supervise a young child at water play.
- Inspect your backyard playground regularly looking for signs of wear, cracks and ensure bolts are tight.
Any activity has some element of risk, knowing what to do in case of an emergency is important. Some incidents will require first aid and controlling bleeding is likely the number one incident. Firm direct pressure will stop most bleeding. Depending on the severity of the incident you might require stiches. Simple cuts and scrapes require a good cleaning and likely a simple dressing. Sprains/strains most likely ice and some rest. Knowing what to do and how to react is easy if you take a first aid course. For upcoming courses and dates call 306-953-8350. Our summer car seat clinics are back. These free no appointment clinics begin on June 22 beginning at 1030AM at the 6th Avenue Car Wash. Thank you to Shelly for being our summer hosts.