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Columbus, Ohio
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Filtering by Category: playing outside

Make safety a habit all year long

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Little steps can add up to big impact. Taking a few minutes every week to think about safety is a habit worth creating.

 

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Replace an old tradition with a new one

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Riding on a tractor or lawn mower with Mom, Dad, Grandma, or Grandpa might be time-honored tradition in many parts of the country, but it’s simply not safe to have extra passengers, so it’s time to find a new tradition. Cultivate Safety offers a list of farm and garden tasks that are right for kids’ ages and abilities. Pick an activity to do together to replace an old tradition with a new one.

 

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Mark a 3-foot “No Kids Zone” around your grill

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Despite constant reminders to slow down, kids will always be running across the deck or patio to the backyard to play. A trip and fall around a hot grill could mean major burns for your little one, so take a few minutes to mark a 3-foot "No Kids Zone" around your grill with tape, paint, or chalk. Ask everyone to help enforce the 3-foot rule to keep kids (and pets) safe around the grill.

See an example of a "No Kids Zone" here. More grill and cooking fire tips here.

 
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Show your kids how to safely meet new dogs

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Dogs are everywhere: at the park, on the sidewalk, at your neighbor’s house, maybe in your own home. Teaching your kids the right way to greet dogs will keep their experiences fun and safe.

The tips in the links below will help you and your child understand when it's okay to pet a dog and what signs show that the dog is too excited or overwhelmed--a prime time for bites.

National Dog Bite Prevention Week (American Academy of Pediatrics)

Dog Safety for Kids (Doggone Safe)

Safe Kids Safe Dogs

What I Learned (Too Late) About Keeping Kids Safe Around Dogs (The New York Times)

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Give your school’s playground a safety checkup

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Kids all over the country are heading back to school, which means more kids running, jumping, and climbing on your local playground. Before the summer turns into fall, take a few minutes to do a quick check-up on the playground’s surfacing, equipment, and general safety using this top-10 list from the US Consumer Product Safety Commission.

If you see safety issues, report them to your local parks department, school district, or other organization that maintains the playground. Don’t have a playground or looking to update it? Start with this complete guide to playground planning and safety from Kaboom!.

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Don’t sweat it. Drink plenty of water when out in the heat.

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It might seem simple, but getting enough to drink can make a huge difference in the health of your child, especially in the long, hot days of summer. Drinking plenty of water helps prevent muscle cramps, heat exhaustion, and heatstroke. Also, kids can’t handle heat as well as adults can, so it’s really important that kids drink water before, during, and after sports and recreational play. Click here for a handy infographic from Safe Kids Worldwide showing you how much your child should be drinking.

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Secure your perimeter: store Tiki torch fuel up and away

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A summer party isn’t complete without Tiki torches and other fun lights, but have you looked at the torch fuel? It looks just like apple juice.

How is your child going to know that one is okay to drink and the other is a deadly poison? Short answer: he won’t know, and there are plenty of stories that prove it. So after filling those torches, make sure you store the fuel up and out of sight.

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Water your lawn: empty your portable pool after every use

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OK, OK, maybe this isn’t the best way to water your lawn, but that kiddie or portable pool you have set up in the yard for the kids to splash in becomes a major drowning hazard if it’s still full of water after play time is over. It might be a pain to refill it every time the kids want to cool off, but it’s much, much safer. So water your lawn (or pour the water right into the storm drain) and empty kiddie and portable pools every time.

More advice for staying safe around portable pools can be found here.

 

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Jump with joy! Stay safe in inflatable bouncers

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Your child may be tugging at your hand, pulling you towards the bounce house at your local festival or fair or even in your neighbor's back yard, but do a little safety check before taking off her shoes and letting her bounce to her heart's delight:

Only let your child jump alone or with children of her own size and age.

Watch your child and enforce rules, such as no flips, somersaults, or rough play.

Trust your instincts. You know when something just isn't right. Look at the way the bounce house is secured to the ground, weather conditions, and the professionalism of the staff. If the house doesn't seem secure, it's windy or raining, or the staff doesn't seem to have control of the kids jumping, then trust your instinct and find another activity.

More tips to safely use inflatable bounce houses can be found here.

 

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Put sunscreen on your shopping list

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You need it if you are going outside, and everyone else in your family does too. This handy flyer shows you exactly what to look for on a bottle, how much sunscreen you need to use, and why you need to use it.


Another reason to put sunscreen on your list: sunscreen expires after 3 years or so. If you are like a lot of people, you have some old bottles sitting around. It may be a good idea to start fresh.  

 

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