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Have Fun, Stay Safe! Top Ten Summer Safety Tips for Your Children

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With the 4th of July celebrations around the corner, it's a good time for parents to review summer safety tips. Here are The New York Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children's (NYSPCC) top 10.

Practice water safety.
• Public pools, backyard pools, the beach and lakes are all great places for swimming, but have different safety challenges -- be familiar with them.
• Learn how to swim (adults too!) Most city Parks Departments offer free courses.
• Learn CPR; classes are offered all the time. Visit the American Red Cross website for more info.

Practice Sun Safety
• Avoid having your children exposed during the strongest rays of the day between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.. Seek shade for your children.
• Use sunscreen consistently. Make sure the label says it contains both UVA and UVB protection. For children six months and older, use at least SPF 30, preferably higher. Reapply it every two hours.
• Keep infants out of the sun. Sunscreen is not recommended for infants under six months old. If they must be in the sun, dress them in clothing that covers the body and a brimmed sun hat.
• For more sun safety info, visit this website.

Practice Bike Safety
• Everyone in your family should wear a helmet; in many states, it's required.
• Children should wear reflective clothing.
• Know and practice the rules of the road with your child. Children are killed as pedestrians in transportation accidents much too often. Teach them to ride in the same direction as cars, stop at all stop signs and obey traffic lights and how to use hand signals.
• For more bike safety info, visit the KidsHealth website.

Practice Barbecue Safety
• Keep small children away from the barbeque; it's easy for them to get burned. Never leave the grill unattended.
• Keep matches and lighters away from children. If you are barbequing, always have a fire extinguisher close by.
• Never use a propane or charcoal grill on the terrace or roof of any building. Thousands of fires are set accidentally each year. If you do have a propane tank, don't store it indoors or underground and please keep it away from children.

Practice Fireworks Safety
• Keep your children away from fireworks; in some areas, it's illegal to have them at home. Each summer, we learn of tragedies when lighting them goes awry. Leave fireworks to the professionals.

Practice Fire Safety
• Don't park your car in front of a hydrant; if there is a fire, this can put saving lives in peril.
• Overloaded electrical outlets are one of the major causes of residential fires. Make sure large appliances that use high wattage, such as air conditioners, have their own outlet.
• Go over your fire evacuation plan with your child.
• For more summer fire safety tips, visit the NYC Fire Department's website.

Practice Playground Safety
• Watch out for hot surfaces that can burn children such as slides and swings.
• Make sure the safety surfaces are thick enough to protect children if they fall.
• Make sure there is an adult present to supervise at all times.
• For a playground safety checklist visit the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Practice Summer Camp Safety
• Make sure the camp has American Camp Association accreditation
• Find out how the staff are screened and the ratio of staff to children
• Find out how the camp handles emergencies
• For more information on camp safety visit

Practice Stranger-Alert Safety
• Although it is rare, there are strangers intent on harming children
• Play it safe; rehearse safety scenarios with your child.
• Role play how to make noise, scream and run.
• Visit the National Crime Prevention Council's website to learn more about what to teach your children about strangers.

Practice Street Safety.
• Teach your child to cross at the crosswalks or corner instead of in the middle of a street.
• Obey the traffic signals, don't cross, means don't cross.
• Look both ways, before you cross and listen for on-coming traffic -- there should be no distraction from wearing headphones -- or from reading or sending texts on iPhones
• Step back from the curb when you are waiting for the light to change. Fatal injuries were caused by cars, cabs and bicyclists hitting pedestrians close to the edge of the curb. For more information click on this link.

For more information on Summer Camp Safety and keeping your child safe from harm visit

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