Stay Safe This Summer

Jo-Carolyn Goode | 6/7/2019, 8:14 a.m.
The onset of summer means that our children are idle. All of that added free time presents lots of opportunities ...

The onset of summer means that our children are idle. All of that added free time presents lots of opportunities to get in trouble and be careless, as children get involved in activities to occupy their mind. Swimming, biking, and being outdoors are among the most popular but also raise a number of safety concerns for our children.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, an average of ten people die from unintentional drowning daily. And of those ten, two of them will be children aged 14 or younger. Summer has barely started and we have already seen a number of children die due to drowning in Houston. No wonder it is the second leading cause of death for children.

Extreme heat is another cause of death for folks in the summer. CDC says over 600 individuals die from heat-related illnesses yearly. When a person’s body temperature gets hotter than they can keep themselves cool damage to the brain and other organs may occur. Certain groups like older adults, the very young, and people with mental illness and chronic diseases really have to be careful as they are at higher risk.

A not so common cause of death that is associated with summer fun is bug safety. Yes, those pesky bugs humming around your ears sometimes take a bite on your skin. Summer heat and rains bring on an influx of bugs. The flying creatures carry an array of diseases like malaria, yellow fever, and Zika. Once these diseases spread in the body, severe symptoms follow and some leave lasting effects.

Technology leads us to one of our final and growing causes of death, road safety. It is more than just obeying traffic laws but avoiding distractions, especially those that stem from cell phone use. Whether riding your bike or driving a car road safety is vital to follow by everyone on the road.

Houston Style wants our children to stay safe this summer so we are equipping you with tips and resources on water, heat, bike, bug, and road safety in our summer safe special issue.

Water Safety

June marks the halfway point in the year and thirty-three children have already drown in Texas. Image how that number will go up after August of this year. Sad to say but summer is the time of year children are most likely to drown. It is important to remember that children can drown in almost any amount of water from a small amount in a bathtub to a big body of water in a pool. The good thing to know is that these drownings are preventable.

The number one rule is to watch children at all times. At least one adult needs to be designated as the pool watcher, in addition to a lifeguard. A commonality among most children drowning is that someone thought someone else was watching when in fact no one was watching at all.

Invest in gates and/or fences. A locked gate or a fence can be a great barrier in keeping children out of the water when there is no supervision. A lesson in obeying what a locked gate means must also be taught to children. Make sure they know to ask for permission before going into any body of water. It was recently reported how a child drowned after climbing a locked gate to get into his community pool. Children must be taught to respect locked places and not to enter them for their safety.