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Pregnancy & Parenting

By Gwynn Cassidy

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I hope everyone is enjoying the warm weather and having a fun summer! I know I am. Unfortunately, a Mommy-friend called me in tears last night because her little one suffered a pretty scary scrape from diving into their neighborhood pool in water that was too shallow.

It got me thinking it was time for us all to review and reconsider some summer safety tips. I contacted the Kessler Foundation, one of the largest nonprofits serving people with physical disabilities and its chapter of ThinkFirst, a national injury prevention program that teaches children how to decrease their risk of experiencing a disabling injury, and asked for some summer safety lessons.

Kessler Foundation's 5 ThinkFirst Safety Tips:
1. Check all outdoor toys that have been stored during the winter to insure no wheels are lose, no pieces are missing and there is no other wear that would make it unsafe for children.

2. Children should wear a helmet every time they ride their bike, skateboard or rollerblade. Studies have shown wearing a helmet can reduce the risk of a head injuries by as much as 85 percent.

3. When purchasing a helmet insure that it fits properly and meets or exceeds the safety standards developed by American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and/or the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM).

4. It is recommended that young children do not dive. Older children should do so in at least eight feet of water with arms extended out in front.

5. Always require children to wear a seatbelt while riding in a car and check to insure the belt is snug across their hips.

To learn more about the work of the Kessler Foundation and the ThinkFirst program visit www.kesslerfoundation.net/think_first