Celebrate Summer…Safely!

The hot and hazy days of summer are in full swing, complete with parties, picnics, pools and patriotism. The opportunity to catch up with neighbors, friends, and family is one of the most awaited parts of summer, although while enjoying the many different occasions of the season, it’s easy to lose sight of one important thing—safety.

Fireworks Safety

Keep your celebrations safe for the 4th of July or other festivities. If you choose to have fireworks as part of an event, keep the following in mind: Party poppers, ignitable “snakes” and “snap ’n’ pops,” and handheld sparklers are legal, although residents should note that handheld sparkers can reach 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit which can cause significant injuries, according to the National Fire Protection agency (NFPA).
Residents who purchase legal fireworks should take the following precautions from the Consumer Product Safety Commission:
• Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks.
• Do not experiment with homemade fireworks.
• After a display, children should never pick up spent fireworks, as they may still be active.
• Adults should always supervise fireworks activities.
• Be sure other people are out of range before lighting fireworks.
• Never try to re-light fireworks that have not fully functioned.
• Never point or throw fireworks at another person.
• Never operate fireworks after consuming alcohol.
• Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose nearby in case of fire.
• Douse spent fireworks with water before discarding to prevent a trash fire.

Water Safety

One of the benefits of living in Maryland is that water is everywhere. Whether it’s a trip to the beach or a dip in the community or backyard pool, you can ensure that swimming is as safe as it is fun by following a few basic safety tips and keeping in mind the facts about preventable child drowning.

• Among preventable injuries, drowning is the leading cause of death for children 1–4 years old.
• Children 1–4 years old are more likely to drown in a pool.
• Children 5 years and older are more likely to drown in natural water, such as ponds, lakes and rivers.
• The risk of drowning in open water increases with age: The average 10-year-old, for example, is three times more likely to drown in open water than in a pool.

Keep children safe by following these rules whenever they are around water:

1. Watch them without being distracted. Keep young children within arm’s reach of an adult. Make sure older children swim with a partner every time.
2. Teach children how to swim. Every child is different, so enroll children in swim lessons when they are ready. Consider their age, development and how often they are around water when deciding if they are ready.
3. Make sure kids learn these five water survival skills and that they are able to:
• step or jump into water over their heads and return to the surface;
• float or tread water for one minute;
• turn around in a full circle and find an exit;
• swim 25 yards to exit the water; and
• exit the water. If in a pool, be able to exit without using the ladder
4. Teach children that swimming in open water is not the same as swimming in a pool. They need to be aware of uneven surfaces, river currents, ocean undertow and changing weather.
5. Know what to do in an emergency. Learning CPR and basic water rescue skills may help you save a child’s life.
A little attention will go a long way when it comes to safety so that everyone gets to have the enjoyable summer they hoped for!
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