MAs schools get ready to let out for the summer, families will be spending more time outdoors and on the move. June is National Safety Month, and whether you’re a parent, grandparent or family friend, it’s important that you know how to make sure children stay safe.
I recently read a disheartening fact from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) – one child dies from a preventable injury ever hour. Leading causes of accidental injuries include drowning, suffocation, poisoning, burns, falls, and car accidents. The CDC is committed to helping protect children from these injuries and has developed a number of resources to educate parents and kids about how to prevent injuries.
What can you do to prevent child injuries?
Be Alert – Store any prescription medications, cleaning products and other toxic products away from a child’s reach. Select a car seat based on your child’s age, height, and weight. Ensure that your child wears a properly fitted helmet when riding a bicycle. Install a smoke alarm in your house. Do not leave your child unattended when swimming or near water.
Educate Your Children – Use the Color Me Safe coloring book with your children to teach them about safety at home and on the go. Find it both in English at http://www.cdc.gov/injury/pdfs/ColorMeS afe_eng-a.pdf and in Spanish at http://www.cdc.gov/injury/pdfs/ColorMeS afe_spa-a.pdf.
Pool safety in particular has been an important issue to me throughout my legislative career. I sponsored and passed the first federal pool and spa safety legislation signed into law in our nation’s history in December 2007 – the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act. The law requires all public pools and spas to have safety drain covers, and in certain circumstances, an anti-entrapment system. The goal of the law is to improve the safety of all pools and spas by increasing the layers of protection and promoting uninterrupted supervision to prevent child drowning and entrapment. Learn more about how to prevent drowning and keep your kids safe by visiting http://poolsafely.gov/
Rep. Wasserman Schultz talks to a group of 6-year-olds in Hollywood who just received a water safety lesson as part of the Red Cross’ new “Big Splash 1-2-3” program.
Talk with your teen drivers about safe driving practices in order to reduce driving injuries. For more helpful tips, check out the CDC’s Parents are the Key campaign at http://www.cdc.gov/ParentsAreTheKey/ab out/index.html.
You can also review the CDC’s new National Action Plan on Child Injury Prevention at http://www.cdc.gov/ParentsAreTheKey/a bout/index.html which highlights prevention solutions and provides a guide to reducing childhood injuries through coordinated efforts at the federal, state and local levels.
Spread the Word – By working together we can keep our children safe and prevent injuries. Be sure to share this helpful information with your family and friends.
I am proud to be an advocate for South Florida’s kids, and my office is always open to you. You can reach us in Pembroke Pines at 954-437-3936, in Aventura at 305-936-5724 and in Washington, DC at 202-225-7931. I’m also available on Facebook. You can download my mobile app for iPhone and Android here.