Summer will be here before you know it. Follow these tips to ensure you are enjoying the outdoors safely.

Playground Safety

Keep your child SAFE at the playground with the following tips:

Supervision is present, but strings and ropes aren’t. Adult presence is needed to watch for potential hazards, observe, intercede and facilitate play when necessary. Strings on clothing or ropes used for play can cause accidental strangulation if caught on equipment.

All children play on Age-appropriate equipment. Preschoolers, ages 2 – 5, and children ages 5 – 12, are developmentally different and need different equipment located in separate areas to keep the playground safe and fun for all.

Falls to surface are cushioned. Nearly 70 percent of all playground injuries are related to falls to the surface. Acceptable surfaces include hardwood fiber/mulch, pea gravel, sand and synthetic materials such as poured-in-place, rubber mats or tiles. Playground surfaces should not be concrete, asphalt, grass, blacktop, packed dirt or rocks.

Equipment is safe. Check to make sure the equipment is anchored safely in the ground, all equipment pieces are in good working order, S-hooks are entirely closed, bolts are not protruding, there are no exposed footings, etc.

 Risks of Lightning

  • High on the list of activities where people are injured by lightning are mountain hiking, climbing, camping, fishing, boating, and golfing.
  • Drop metal objects like golf clubs, tennis rackets, umbrellas, and packs with internal or external metal frames.
  • Get off bicycles, motorcycles, horses, and golf carts. Metal bleachers at sports events, fences, and utility poles are also to be avoided.
  • If you are caught in an open field, seek a low spot. Crouch with your feet together and head low.
  • If Someone Is Struck – People who have been hit by lightning carry no electric charge and can be safely tended to. If the person is not breathing, begin mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. But if a pulse is absent as well begin CPR. Stay with the victim until help arrives.
  • Don’t return to an open area too soon. People have been struck by lightning near the end of a storm, which is still a dangerous time.
  • Swimmers, anglers, and boaters should get off lakes or rivers and seek shelter when storms approach.

 Camping Safety

  • Pack a first aid kit. Pack antiseptics for cuts and scrapes, tweezers, insect repellent, bug spray, a snake bite kit, pain relievers, and sunscreen.
  • Bring emergency supplies. a map, compass, flashlight, knife, waterproof fire starter, personal shelter, whistle, warm clothing, high energy food, water, and insect protection.
  • Arrive early. Plan your trip so that you arrive at your actual campsite with enough daylight to check over the entire site and to set-up camp.
  • Check for potential hazards. Be sure to check the site thoroughly for glass, sharp objects, branches, ant beds, poison ivy, and hazardous terrain.
  • Avoid areas of natural hazards. Areas that could flood or become extremely muddy can pose a problem.
  • ?Make sure your fires are always attended. Be sure you have an area for a fire that cannot spread laterally or vertically. When putting the fire out, drown it with water, making sure all embers, coals and sticks are wet. Embers buried deep within the pile have a tendency to reignite later.
  • Dispose of trash properly.
  • Watch out for bugs. Hornets, bees, wasps, and yellow jackets are a problem at many campsites. Avoid attracting stinging insects by wearing light colored clothing and avoiding perfumes or colognes.
  • Beware when encountering wildlife. To ward off bears, keep your campsite clean, and do not leave food, garbage, or coolers.
  • Practice good hygiene. Make sure you wash your hands, particularly before handling food, to prevent everyone in your group becoming ill.

 Source: www.playgroundsfety.org and USDA Forest Service Website

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