Parents should plan for a safe summer As the school year is coming to an end, the South Dakota Department of Public Safety and the Department of Health are offering the following safety tips to encourage parents to plan for a safe summer:
1. Watch for children on South Dakota roadways.
2. Supervise children whenever they use play equipment and remember the SAFE acronym: provide proper Supervision; Age appropriate equipment; materials to soften Falls; and regular Equipment maintenance.
3. Make sure children always wear helmets when riding a bicycle or scooter, rollerblading or skateboarding. Research shows that helmets worn properly can reduce the risk of serious head and brain injury by as much as 88 percent.
4. Never leave children unattended in or near the water. Use U.S. Coast Guard approved life vests, also known as personal flotation devices (PFDs), on boats, docks, and around deep or swift water.
5. Protect children from excessive exposure to sun, especially from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Use a sunscreen with a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of 15 or higher, sunglasses with UV protection, and protective clothing such as long sleeves and hats.
6. Minimize the risk of bee and insect stings by having children wear shoes and light-colored clothing.
7. Know the plants in your yard and teach your child not to pick or eat anything without first checking with an adult. Call the Poison Center at 1-800-222-1222 if you suspect a poisoning has occurred or to receive a list of poisonous plants.
8. Keep children from playing near barbecues and bonfires and always have water present when fire is involved. Only adults should use lighter fluid.
9. Secure children in a properly fitting seat belts, car seats or booster seats when traveling by car or airplane.
10. Use an insect repellent containing DEET to protect against West Nile Virus and follow label directions carefully. Children can use products with 10 percent DEET, adults up to 30 percent. Do not use DEET on infants younger than two months old. Keep children inside at dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active.
Visit the departments' websites at http://www.state.sd. us/dps/ and http://www.state. sd.us/doh/.