School's out and the kids are antsy. Is it any wonder that parents worry about their children getting into trouble during the dog days of summer? Whether they're playing outside in the backyard, heading down the street to visit a friend or taking advantage of the warm weather by playing in a local park, it's important that they know how to play safely.
Before the play begins, parents should discuss 5 simple rules with their kids about how to stay safe during summer vacation.
1) Look Around: It's easy for kids to forget about their surroundings in the excitement of playing in the warm summer sun. Before starting any type of outdoor play, remember to remind kids to put an imaginary spotlight on their surroundings. This means looking up, looking down and all around their play areas in order to make sure that the coast is clear for play.
2) Go Fly a Kite (But look up, first!): Before kids let loose with that kite make sure to check the sky for power lines. The last thing that they need is an accident because they forgot to check the sky above them. Kites are great but unfortunately, they can be dangerous if they get caught up in power lines. The string may conduct electricity right through you to the ground, causing what could be a severe accident or, in worse case scenarios, fatalities. Teach kids that if their kit becomes entangled in overhead power lines, that they should not attempt to remove it under any circumstances. This is the time that they should leave it be and let an adult assess the situation. The idea of looking up also applies to trampolines. Parents, remember to never set up a trampoline with overhead lines close by.
3) Stay Away From Electrical Equipment: As tempting as they may seem to kids, those green transformer boxes located down the street aren't to be played with. Little do kids know, they house potentially dangerous electrical equipment inside. For this reason alone, kids need to be taught to steer clear and stay far away from these boxes. On a similar vein, teach your kids that they are never to poke sticks or wires into the enclosures. If for any reason, the kids come across any unlocked or damaged equipment, teach them to tell an adult who should call their local electrical utility company immediately.
4) Water and Electricity: We need both of these things to function, but kids often don't know that mixing the two can be dangerous. Most household electrical accidents involve the inadvertent connection of these two items. Kids need to be taught that anything electrical should be kept well away from water. Remind them and double check to make sure that electrical devices such as radios, electric lawnmowers and trimmers should be always a fair distance away from the swimming pool.
5) Parents Need to Stay Safe Too: It's not just the kids who are prone to trouble; parents can find themselves in hot water as well, if they're not mindful. Between climbing ladders to clean the eavestroughs, or digging in the backyard while gardening, it's important for parents to check out the lay of the land before proceeding. As always, remember to call before you dig.
For more tips and advice on safety for families around the home, go to www.TorontoHydro.com/safety