With outdoor play and swimming, there comes a risk of accidents. It's been reported that over 200,000 kids children go to the emergency room for play set related injuries each year. Another 4,200 people are taken to the ER for pool or spa related injuries.
Underwriters Laboratories (UL), a leading product safety testing organization, wants to see people taking the proper precautions this summer. They've offered the following tips on staying safe while playing and swimming.
Before Installing a Play Set:
- Make sure your yard is big enough for the equipment. It should offer good visibility, security, and be free of any obstacles.
- Read and follow the manufacturer's directions. Check weight limits as well.
- Install a protective surface under equipment. Rubber tiles or mulch should extend 6 feet in all directions under the equipment.
Before Going Out to Play:
- Inspect equipment carefully. It should be securely anchored and in good working order. S-hooks should be closed and there should be no protruding bolts.
- Check for gaps a child could get stuck in. Spaces should be less than 3.5 inches or more than 9 inches.
- Always supervise children on equipment.
- Watch for obstacles that a child could trip on, such as rocks, tree stumps, or toys.
Home Pool Safety:
- Install a fence. It should be at least 4 feet high with a self-closing, self-latching gate.
- Cut overhanging tree limbs.
- Keep grates and drain covers secured and in good condition.
- Make sure you know infant and child CPR.
Safety While Swimming:
- Supervise children at ALL times. Use the 10/20 rule. You should scan the pool every 10 seconds and be close enough to reach the water within 20 seconds.
- Always have rescue devices nearby, like UL-listed life preservers.
- Remember floaties and toys are not safety devices.
- Always drain kiddie pools after using.
- Have a phone nearby and keep emergency numbers posted.
- Remove toys from pool when not in use. They could attract children to the unattended pool.
UL and Disney have also produced a safety video featuring Timon and Pumbaa. Watch it with your kids to learn more about staying safe this summer!
Have fun and stay safe this summer!
I wrote this while participating in a blog campaign by Mom Central on behalf of Underwriters Laboratories. Mom Central sent me a gift card to thank me for taking the time to participate.