Summer safety in the city

Author: Canadian Living

Dogs and kids
Quick facts and stats
• Children make up more than 60 per cent of all dog bite injuries.

• Children under 10 years of age are the most common victims.

• Teach children to stay away from dogs they don't know.

• Ensure kids ask the owner before petting a dog.

• Tell youngsters not to disturb a dog that is eating, sleeping or has pups.

Cars and kids
Quick facts and stats
• The temperature inside a parked car can exceed 50 C (120 F) within 10 to 20 minutes on a typical sunny summer day.

• Within 40 minutes, it will get so hot that a child inside the car could die.

• Young children –- especially infants –- are three to five times more sensitive to heat than adults.

• Never leave a child (or a pet) alone in a car -– even with all the windows down.

• Lock car doors and trunk and keep keys out of children's reach.

• Make sure the car seat and seatbelts of a car left parked outside are not too hot before buckling in your children.

Quick facts
• Children, the elderly, pregnant women, people who smoke, have asthma or heart problems, and those who exercise or work outdoors are among the most sensitive to smog.

• Smog can irritate eyes, nose and throat and cause wheezing, coughing and breathing difficulties.

• Check the Air Quality Index (AQI) in your community, especially during smog season (from May to September) to make sure the index is between 32 and 49.

• Avoid or reduce strenuous physical outdoor activities when smog levels are above 50, especially during the late afternoon when ground-level ozone reaches its peak.

• Avoid exercising near areas of heavy traffic, especially during rush hour.

• Drink lots of fluids to stay hydrated.

• Find a shaded area away from traffic if you don't have access to an air-conditioned environment.

Playground safety
Before letting your kids crawl all over the slides and monkey bars, check to see that the equipment is appropriate for their age. Children five years of age and under should only use the smaller playground equipment that's designed for preschool children. Here are some other tips to consider.

• Remind children not to go in front of swings to avoid being kicked.

• Check the equipment for safety. Look for signs of wear, splintering or cracks. Check that bolts are tight and equipment is well anchored.

• Ask the people overseeing the playground whether they do weekly safety inspections.

• Remove drawstrings and other cords from your child's clothing; some clothes can get trapped in equipment and strangle a child.

• Never put a helmet on your child when he's on the playground. It may seem like a good idea, but his head may get stuck in narrow openings.

And here are some tips if you're building a backyard playground.

• Make sure it's sturdily built and is at least six feet away from walls or fences.

• Consider using sand, wood chips and soft synthetic materials for playground surfaces rather than grass, dirt, asphalt or concrete, which are unsafe for playground equipment.

Check out our article on child safety for more tips on protecting your children.


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Summer safety in the city