For most parents, their children’s safety is a top priority. Technology has provided many tools to assist us in keeping our children safe, yet technology cannot replace our vigilance, and regardless of how hard we may try, danger still exists. In the summer, sometimes that danger is elevated because of more free time, extra outdoor play, and travel.
Therefore, there are three things every parent should know to keep their children safe in the summer:
1. Every parent should know how to perform the Heimlich maneuver, CPR, and basic first aid.
These first-aid techniques are not extremely difficult and you don’t have to be a medical professional to use them. Hopefully you will never need to use them, but you if you do, it is best to have the proper training. Proper training will ensure you are prepared to save someone’s life, possibly even your child’s! Performing these techniques is different for babies, toddlers, and children, so getting the proper training is essential. With children sometimes the unexpected happens, from a toddler chocking, to a child injuring themselves while playing. Emergencies are scary and can be overwhelming, but with proper training you will be better equipped and prepared to handle them! There are numerous affordable resources for learning first-aid techniques in the Knoxville area. Our local Red Cross continuously offers training that covers the Heimlich maneuver, CPR, and basic first aid training. Also, many of the local hospitals, offer first-aid training for new and expectant parents. Again, hopefully you will never have to utilize these first-aid techniques, but preparation is essential!
2. Every parent should know the signs of drowning.
Summer is the time for outdoor fun, which often includes water. However, water brings the risk of drowning. Therefore, every parent should know the signs of drowning — simply being aware could save a life. Oftentimes, drowning does not look like what we expect. We would expect the person to call for help or frantically wave their arms, and splash while trying to stay afloat, but drowning is often silent. That’s why parents need to be vigilant watchers among the water and know the signs of drowning. Some common signs of drowning include mouth at water level, head tilted back, eyes look glassy or empty, hyperventilating or gasping, struggling to swim, and climbing an invisible ladder. There are many resources for information and warning signs of drowning from simple google searches. WebMD in particular has many good articles that will assist you in learning the warning signs of drowning.
3. Every parent should know the dangers of insect stings and insect-borne illnesses.
The summer includes more outdoor play, which increases the chance your child may receive an insect sting or insect bite. While most insect stings and/or bites only cause minor discomfort, sometimes they are more serious, especially for those with allergies. Therefore, if/when your child receives their first bee sting, it may be necessary to monitor them for an allergic reaction. Also, mosquitoes can carry diseases with West Nile being the greatest concern in our area. Tick-borne diseases are another concern. As parents, just being aware of the dangers of insect stings and insect borne illnesses equips us to monitor our children after a day of playing outside. Also, being proactive by using proper bug spray can decrease the chances of our children being exposed to insect borne illnesses.
Of course as parents, we want to do everything in our power to keep our children safe and protected. Sometimes the best way to keep our children protected isn’t with the latest technology or gadget, but simply by being aware. That is why I believe it is essential for every parent to know how to perform the Heimlich maneuver, CPR, and basic first aid, know the signs of drowning and be familiar with the dangers of insect stings and insect-borne illnesses.