Outdoor Safety Tips for Children
It’s summer, and even if everything hasn’t opened up again yet, children want to play outside. Adults are pretty happy when the children get outside too. Unfortunately, the great outdoors comes with a wide variety of injuries and health risks. But, the team of personal injury lawyers at Hare, Wynn, Newell & Newton has laid out some ground rules to help children understand and avoid these risks whenever possible.
Your children can head outside to play, but only after setting a few ground rules to help ensure that you’ve reduced the likelihood of the greatest injury risks. Don’t be surprised that these are many of the same rules you probably grew up with but had forgotten long ago.
Looking before you cross the road isn’t enough. Drivers now are more complacent than ever, which means we need to teach children to look left, look right, and then, look left again before crossing. While looking is important, children also need to learn how to listen for oncoming cars.
Road safety starts with a conversation. Talk about the real dangers of vehicles, and that not every driver is safe or looks for children on the road. Make it clear that playing in the road is not acceptable, and if a ball crosses a road or something happens where they need to go across the street, then they should get an adult.
Pool and Water Safety
Pool safety tends to be very basic, but as soon as your children are proficient swimmers, it’s easy for parents to become overly confident in their child. Of course, if your child is a good swimmer, there’s no reason to distrust them near water, but that doesn’t mean you should ever leave them alone.
Most pool and swimming injuries that can be avoided with a water watcher. It’s important to remember that drowning is a silent event. There’s often no noise, so looking away or glancing at your phone for a few minutes could open a window of opportunity for disaster.
In addition to keeping in an extra attentive eye on children near water, you should also teach children to stay away from drains, keep their arms and hands away from any filter or filtration outlets, and emphasize that they can’t go in the water without asking.
If the pool is in your backyard, then you should seriously consider installing a fence or barrier if you haven’t already. Pool barriers specifically should have a latch to open the gate that children can’t reach.
Stranger safety is something that’s long been forgotten. Because of mobile devices, it’s very easy to keep track of exactly where our children are. Additionally, the emphasis on stranger safety throughout the 1980s and 1990s have left most adults feeling as though the message was conveyed. This younger generation is not familiar with that message.
Most child kidnappings involve a person that the child knows. One of the most common scenarios is miscommunication between parents coordinating who’s picking up or dropping off children. But other scenarios include non-family members that the children are familiar with and feel comfortable leaving a secure area with.
If your child is playing outside either in a part where you’re sitting on a bench nearby or with the neighborhood kid in the front yard, make it clear who is or is not in the area. Emphasize who will be checking in on them and if someone’s picking them up who that person will be.
General Outdoor Safety Tips
There are some unexpected injuries that are very likely to happen outdoors. Extension cords are often indoor only, and when they are used, they can fray, which makes them a substantial electrocution risk. Additionally, children should know not to approach any strange animal. Finally, dissuade children From using outdoor toys that could quickly turn deadly such as throwing darts, lawn darts, bows, and similar weapons-turned-toy.
Contacting Hare, Wynn, Newell & Newton
Even when you put every possible blockade or rule into place, injuries can still happen. Kids get out of the gate. They run into traffic, electrical cords get frayed and then touched. These injuries can become very serious, and while it is painful to know that your child sustained injuries, it is wonderful to know that these deadly situations didn’t result in fatalities.
After any type of outdoor injury, contact Hare, Wynn, Newell & Newton to get help in determining if there are any options available to your family for getting financial help to cover medical losses. In some instances, it’s possible that the victim or their guardians could recover pain and suffering when handling particularly unsettling injuries. Make sure to contact Hare, Wynn, Newell & Newton and speak with one of our Birmingham personal injury attorneys as soon as possible.