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6/24/24 blog post

your ultimate guide to a fun and safe summer

no matter how you celebrate, here's how to prioritize your child's safety


Planning summer celebrations can be fun! Whether you're dreaming of a day by the pool or getting ready to grill, there is something you should never leave off your to-do list: planning for safety. And here is why: 

In general, when routines change there is an increased chance for an injury, simply because we are busier than normal. With large gatherings, excitement and fireworks displays, there is a ton of room for mishaps!  Supervision is key, especially around grills and open flames, pools and water and fireworks use.  

Here are more tips from Dayton Children's safety experts to help you have fun and stay safe with the ones you love!

Firework Safety 

While fireworks are a magical and beautiful experience, if safety isn't prioritized, they can become a nightmare. Make sure to follow these tips to ensure you're safe around fireworks

  • Leave it to the professionals: It is best to let the professionals handle the fireworks. Some communities put on public firework displays for families to come and enjoy. Make plans to attend a public firework display rather than trying to put one on yourself. 
  • Use glow sticks instead of sparklers. Our little ones have arms that are too short to hold sparklers which can cause them to hold sparklers way too close to their face. Sparklers can heat up to 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit – HOT! Try substituting glow sticks for sparklers. These can be just as fun and won’t get so hot. 
  • Be educated. If you decide to light fireworks at home, make sure you know what you’re doing! 
  • Don’t wear loose clothing 
  • Never light fireworks inside 
  • Make sure that you point fireworks away from homes, people and anything flammable like brush, leaves and dry grass. 
  • Don’t let kids play with them! 
  • Keep a safe distance. Make sure that everyone is a safe distance away from where the fireworks are being lit. If something is lit and it doesn’t go off, do not try to investigate it. Instead, keep a bucket of water nearby to dump on it and to make sure that the firework doesn’t go off later. 
  • Be prepared. If you are going to let off fireworks at home, make sure that you: 
  • Have a fire extinguisher close by and know how to work it just in case fire happens. 
  • Teach your child how to call 911 in case of an emergency. 

Grill Safety  

If tasty burgers and crispy hot dogs are your version of a good time, you might be excited to grill to celebrate summer! Safe Kids Worldwide has these tips to keep your kids safe around grills:  

  • Position the grill well away from siding, deck railings, out from under eaves and overhanging branches. Ensure the grill is a safe distance from lawn games, play areas and foot traffic.  
  • Periodically remove grease or fat buildup in trays below the grill so it cannot be ignited by a hot grill.  
  • Be careful when using lighter fluid. Do not add fluid to an already lit fire because the flames can flashback up into the container and explode.  
  • Grill only outdoors- If used indoors, or in any enclosed spaces, such as garages or tents, barbecue grills pose both a fire hazard and the risk of exposing occupants to carbon monoxide.  
  • Keep children and pets away from the grill area by declaring a 3-foot "kid-free zone" around the grill.  
  • Never leave the grill unattended while cooking. The number one cause of residential fires is unattended cooking.  

Pool and Water Safety 

Whether you like to dip in the pool or float in the lake, water activities are a fun and refreshing way to spend the day. But before you splish splash the day away, make sure you're considering safety first! The American Academy of Pediatrics strongly recommends swim lessons to prevent drowning. Here are some other helpful tips for staying safe around water:  

  • Dedicate a 'water watcher.' This is one adult who does nothing but watch the children in the water. No cell phone scanning, no chatting with a friend. Trade off every 15 minutes with another adult to avoid fatigue. Lifeguards may be at a pool for emergencies,  
  • Teach kids how to swim. Children as young as four months can be taught to flip over on their back and float if they fall in the water.
  • Don’t rely on “floaties.” They only provide a false sense of security. As they get older, swim lessons can add to their water survival skills. Five water survival skills they should know are:  
  • Never let kids swim alone. Keep young children within arm’s reach of an adult. Older kids and adults still need a buddy in the water with them because even the most confident swimmers can struggle sometimes.    
  • For large backyard pools, install gates, fences, or other barriers with locks. For smaller pools, drain after each use.

Bonfire Safety  

When the sun goes down, a bonfire is a surefire way to keep the celebrations going, but how can you do it safely? The National Park Service recommends these tips when around outdoor fire pits, campfires and bonfires:  

before you start the fire: 

  • Check the weather conditions and make sure it isn’t too windy to have a fire. Wind can cause the fire to be unpredictable.  
  • Clear brush and debris from around the fire area.  
  • Make sure to have water nearby before you start your fire.   
  • Space seating around 6 feet from the fire.   

while enjoying the fire: 

  • Supervise all children near the fire pit, don’t allow running near or around the fire. 
  • Refrain from throwing trash or other items into the fire, especially items like pressurized cans, or items containing flammable materials.   

at the end of the night: 

  • Let the fire burn low and wait until all flames are extinguished.  
  • Douse the hot coals with water.  Embers from the pit stay alive for up to 48 hours under the ash and many children are injured walking through a fire pit they think is cold. 
  • Ensure all coals are completely out before leaving the fire.  

We hope you have a fun, safe kick off to summer.  If you are planning a road trip- check out this article for more safety tips!  


Abbey Pettiford

Injury Prevention Coordinator
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