by Janet B. Brooks
Child Advocacy Manager
July holidays bring a variety of fun and traditional activities such as swimming and fireworks. While these activities may seem harmless they can also pose risks to the safety of our children. Take a little extra time and care to be safe this holiday.
Child drowning is one of the leading causes of unintentional death to kids in Utah. It is a preventable tragedy so we encourage all families to be vigilant in supervising children around water.
- Never leave a child unattended in a pool or spa. Always watch your children closely around all bodies of water.
- Teach children basic water safety tips.
- Use approved flotation devices for ALL children on open bodies of water.
- Keep children away from pool drains, pipes, and other openings to avoid entrapment.
- Have a telephone close by when you or your family are using a pool or spa.
- If a child is missing, look for him or her in the pool or spa first.
- Share safety instructions with family, friends, and neighbors.
Everyone loves fireworks and the beauty they add to the holidays. However, they can be dangerous and risky if not used properly. For example, the tip of a sparkler can reach temperatures over 1,200 degrees – hot enough to cause severe third degree burns.
- Never allow children to handle, play with, or light fireworks. You must be at least 16 years of age to handle or light fireworks. Adults should always supervise children when fireworks are nearby.
- Always keep water handy. Have a bucket of water or a running hose nearby while using fireworks. Soak used fireworks in water before throwing them away.
- Keep fireworks at an adequate distance from obstacles. Fireworks should always point away from people, homes, trees, and other things that could catch on fire. Aerial fireworks should be kept at least 30 feet away from these structures.
- Never relight a “dud” firework. Wait 20 minutes and then soak it in a bucket of water. Children should not be allowed to pick up pieces of fireworks after an event. Some may still ignite and could explode at any time.
- Only use fireworks as they’re intended. Never attempt to alter or combine them.
- Only use fireworks outdoors.
- Sparklers are extremely hot and dangerous and should not be used by young children
- Don’t hold fireworks in your hand or have any part of your body over them while lighting.
You can read our entire list of recommendations for firework safety by reading our blog post earlier this month.
Children and Cars
The heat is on! Don’t risk your child’s life by leaving them alone in the car.
- A vehicle can heat up inside as much as 19º in as little as 10 minutes.
- Make a habit of thoroughly checking your vehicle before leaving it.
- If you see a child left alone in a car, contact the police or call 911.
- When left in a hot vehicle, a child’s body temperature can increase three to five times as fast as an adult’s.
- Cracking your vehicle’s windows has very little effect on its temperature.