Playing in and near the water is part of childhood. But accidental drowning can devastate a family and community.
Banner Children's wants to keep you and your family safe around the swimming pool, the lake, the ocean and other fun water spots.
Banner Children's offers the following drowning prevention tips:
- There should always be an adult as the “life guard on duty” who is close enough to touch and giving eye-to-eye supervision.
- Never leave a child alone while in the bathtub, not even for a second.
- Make sure the entire family knows how to swim. Start swimming lessons at a young age.
- Empty buckets and other containers and store them upside down. It only takes a few inches of water for children to drown.
- Close and lock toilet lids.
- Learn and practice CPR and take refresher courses every other year.
- Keep rescue equipment, a telephone and emergency numbers poolside.
- Surround pools and spas with a 5-foot high fence with a self-closing and self-latching gate.
- Canals are dangerous attraction for children! Don’t let your children play around canals.
- Wear a U.S. Coast Guard approved life jacket when boating, near open bodies of water or when participating in water sports.
- Water wings, floaties and air-filled toys are not lifesaving devices. Life jackets should be worn in the pool instead.
- Go feet first, first time when entering the water.
- Adults should always swim with a buddy, wear life jackets at lakes and rivers and never swim impaired.
Helmets are the most important safety item for bicycle riders. Helmets are a necessity - not an accessory!
In fact, wearing a helmet can reduce head injuries up to 85%.
The perfect helmet
- Choose a helmet that meets safety standards.
- Make sure the helmet fits your child and they are wearing it correctly every time they are on their bike -- even riding in the driveway or down the block.
- Be an example, adults need to wear helmets, too.
- Find out how to fit a bike helmet.
The perfect bike
- Make sure the bicycle fits your child. If it is too large, it will be difficult for them to control.
- When sitting on the bike, your child should be able to just about fully extend their legs to reach the pedals when they are in the lowest position.
- When standing astride the bar with their feet flat on either side, there should be about 1 to 2 inches of space between their crotch and the crossbar for a road bike and 3 to 4 inches for a mountain bike.
- For kids that are still growing, make sure that their bike's seat post and handlebars can be raised a bit to adjust to their new height.
Every child, no matter what their size, could potentially experience bullying in their life.
To determine if it’s truly bullying or just teasing ask these questions:
- Do they do it repeatedly on purpose?
- Do they say hurtful things to them when they can’t defend themselves?
- Does it make them uncomfortable to be around them all the time?
- Do they repeatedly take their things or often hit or bump into them?
Bullying is unwanted, aggressive behavior among children where someone intentionally causes another person discomfort or injury. The behavior may be repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time. Both kids who are bullied and who bully others may have serious, lasting problems.
One of the best ways to stop bullying is to be aware. Talk with your children regularly about their time at school. Ask about their friends, their classes and their day-to-day activities. Notice their body language when they answer and be aware of changes in mood or activities, such as depression, or wanting to stay home from school or games. Bullying can also lead to physical symptoms, such as abdominal pain, vomiting before school or bed-wetting.
Share the comic books below with your kids to help them learn about bullying:
Be Strong Speak Up
For elementary age children:
Proud to be me
Using a safety seat correctly makes a big difference. A child safety seat may not protect your child in a crash if it isn't used correctly and installed in the vehicle properly.
Cars were made for adults, therefore children do not fit in a seatbelt properly until they are 4 feet 9 inches tall.
Sign up for a car-safety seat class. English and Spanish classes available. Visit our calendar of events to find a class near you!
Rear facing car seat
You can use an infant or convertible seat as long as the seat fits your child’s weight and height and fits in your vehicle. Children should ride rear facing in their car seat to the upper weight limit of the seat. A rear-facing car seat absorbs the force of a car crash, so do not turn the seat around before they meet the weight limit. They should not be turned around before the child is 1 year old and weighs 20 pounds.
Children should ride rear facing until they are 1 year old or weigh 20 pounds. It is recommended they ride rear facing until they are 2 years old or outgrow the weight limit on their seat.
Harness seat weight limits vary depending on the seat. Common weight limits are 40, 65, and 80 pounds. Harness straps should be at or above the child's shoulders.
Children should stay in a full harness until they have outgrown it. All harnesses fit children up to 40 pounds and most are now increasing that to 65 pounds or higher. The longer your child is in a full harness the safer they are. When children outgrow their car seat they should ride in a belt-positioning booster seat in the back seat. The booster seat uses the adult lap and shoulder belt and should be used until the belt fits the child properly or until they are at least 4 feet 9 inches tall.
The safest way to prevent fireworks-related injuries is to leave fireworks displays to trained professionals.
Other safety tips include:
- Never allow young children to play with or ignite any type of fireworks.
- Avoid buying fireworks that are packaged in brown paper because this is often a sign that the fireworks were made for professional displays and that they could pose a danger to consumers.
- Always have an adult supervise fireworks activities. Parents don't realize that young children suffer injuries from all types of fireworks, including sparklers.
- Never place any part of your body directly over a fireworks device when lighting the fuse. Remember to back up to a safe distance immediately after lighting fireworks.
- Never try to relight or pick up fireworks that have not ignited fully.
- Never point or throw fireworks at another person.
- Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose close when setting off fireworks in case of fire or other mishap.
- Light fireworks 1 at a time, then move back quickly.
- Never carry fireworks in a pocket or shoot them off in metal or glass containers.
- After fireworks complete their burning, douse the spent device with plenty of water from a bucket or hose before discarding it to prevent a trash fire.
- Make sure fireworks are legal in your area before buying or using them.
It's important to talk to kids about the potential dangers of guns, and what to do if they find one.
Even though guns are featured in many television shows, video games, computer games and movies, it's important for your child to know that real guns are dangerous and can hurt or even kill someone.
If you allow your child to play with toy guns, you may want to use them to teach your child about safe gun handling. The color of the toy gun should not be modified as they can easily be confused with real guns and have tragic results.
You may also want to talk to your children about guns and violence teaching them that anger and fear can be expressed without striking out at other or using weapons. The most positive way to resolve conflict is to talk it out.
If they find a gun
Tips on what you tell your child to do if they ever see or find a gun:
- Don’t touch the gun. You might get hurt or hurt someone else.
- Get as far away as possible. Don’t stay and try to talk to anyone. Just say, “I need to leave now” and go.
- Find a grownup. Tell them you just saw a gun, where it was and who had it.
Gun Safety Tips
If you choose to keep a gun in your home, it’s important to always be a positive gun-safety role model for your children by storing and using guns safely and responsibly:
- Store the gun unloaded until ready to use.
- Use a trigger lock or gun lock, and store the gun in a locked container. Store the ammunition in a separate, locked container. Make sure to hide all the keys.
- Be sure the places you store guns and ammunition are out of reach of children. Don’t store a gun where it is visible, in a nightstand or under a mattress or pillow.
- Always point a gun in a safe direction. Never point the muzzle at anyone.
- Ask if the homes where your child visits or is cared for have guns. Ask how the guns are stored and be sure your child will be safe there.
As your family prepares for a night of costumes and candy on Halloween, keep these safety tips in mind.
- Young children should not trick-or-treat alone. Try to go in a group of children with adult supervision.
- Older children should plan a safe route so parents know where they will be at all times as well as when they will be home. Make sure they have a cell phone to contact in case of emergency.
- Make sure you wear reflective tape on your costume or carry a flashlight, or glow stick to make you more visible to cars.
- Do not cut through fields or back alleys. Make sure you stay in populated areas.
- Stop only at houses where the lights are on.
- Stay away from and don’t pet animals you don’t know.
- Never go into the home or get in the car of a stranger.
- Walk, don’t run. Stay on well-lit streets and walk on the sidewalk. Use a crosswalk when available and never cross the street between cars.
- Always cross the street at the corner and look left – right - left before you cross.
- Make sure your mask fits properly and the eye holes allow you to see fully. Don’t wear a mask that is too loose as it can slip and block your vision. Consider using non-toxic makeup instead.
- Don’t let your costume drag on the ground.
- Only carry flexible knives, swords or other props.
- Stay away from jack-o’ lanterns if they have a candle in them.
- Have parents look at the candy you collect throughout the night prior to eating it.
Here are some holiday safety tips to help you and your family enjoy a season that is happy and healthy.
- When purchasing an artificial tree, look for the label "Fire Resistant."
- When purchasing a live tree, check for freshness. A fresh tree has green, needles that are hard to pull from branches and when bent between your fingers, needles do not break. The trunk butt of a fresh tree is sticky with resin, and when tapped on the ground, the tree should not lose many needles.
- Never use electric lights on a metallic tree. The tree can become charged with electricity from faulty lights, and a person touching a branch could be electrocuted.
- Before using lights outdoors, check labels to be sure they have been certified for outdoor use. To hold lights in place, string them through hooks or insulated staples, not nails or tacks. Never pull or tug lights to remove them.
- In homes with small children, take special care to avoid decorations that are sharp or breakable, keep trimmings with small removable parts out of the reach of children to avoid them swallowing or inhaling small pieces, and avoid trimmings that resemble candy or food that may tempt a young child to eat them.
Help your children stay safe by learning the steps of safe street crossing and how to play outdoors even with they are around traffic.
Teach your children to cross streets safely:
- Stop at the edge of the street before crossing.
- Cross at the corner of the street if you are close to a corner. Always use cross walks when available.
- Never cross between parked cars because it is hard for drivers to see you.
- Look left – right - left to make sure no traffic is coming. If you are at a corner be sure to look over your shoulder for cars that might be turning.
- If driver is slowing down to let you cross, try to make eye contact to make sure they see you before you cross.
- Walk, don’t run, across the street when no traffic is coming but be sure to look left and right as you cross.
- Have younger children walk with an adult or older child.
- Make sure you can be seen at night. Trim clothing with materials that reflect light, such as reflective tape.
You can reduce your risk of skin cancer by following these tips:
- Avoid the sun between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. when this sun’s rays are the strongest.
- Apply broad-spectrum sunscreen with sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15 that shields both UVA and UVB rays.
- Reapply sunscreen every 2 hours when outdoors even on cloudy days.
- Wear protective, tightly woven clothing such as long sleeve shirt and pants.
- Wear a hat with a 4-nch brim and sunglasses even on walking a short distance the distance.
- Stay in the shade whenever possible.
- Protect children by keeping them out of the sun minimizing sun exposure and apply sunscreen beginning at 6 months of age.