Summer is the best time of year when you are a child, but it is also one of the most dangerous times of year. There are many dangers parents should be aware of during the summer and there are steps that can be taken to decrease the risks:
1. Overheating in cars. A child’s body overheats 3-5 times faster than an adult body, according to KidsandCars.org, and cracking a window does not help. Always be aware that your car can be a heat-trap and that, inside the car, the temperature is substantially hotter than outside due to the greenhouse effect of the windows.
2. Leaving children in cars. Always check that all your children have left the car when you reach your destination. It’s so easy in the rush and busyness of our lives to inadvertently forget something and that includes a sleeping child in a car, especially a baby who can’t communicate. Most parents think they could never forget their child is in the backseat, but according to KidsandCars.org, the majority of child vehicular heatstroke deaths were accidental – parents genuinely did not remember their child was in the car and the results were tragic. Make sure to have a system in place to avoid this kind of accident.
3. Drowning. The reality is every single child near any body of water is at risk of drowning. Even if you don’t have a pool at home, begin swimming lessons as early as possible, but don’t forget even children who know how to swim are at risk. Do not let your child remove their life jacket, even if they are eating or planning to stay out of the water for a bit. Put your phone away for the day so you can remain focused on where your child is at all times. Above all, keep your child in your sight at all times.
4. Exiting the car. Be careful how and where your children exit the cars on busy summer roads, especially on holiday weekends. Use your child lock feature on the rear car doors to ensure you are the one to open the door on the safest side and at the right time. This also applies to parking lots and play areas, especially after long-distance journeys when children are restless and parents are tired.
5. Dehydration. Never underestimate the need to continually drink water and be hydrated when driving in the summer, especially on long distances. Most people are dehydrated at any given time and especially when travelling in a car. Plan your journey so you know where the service stations are and plan for everyone to drink enough water in advance of these stops. Children are also at risk of dehydration when playing outside, swimming or doing any number of summer activities – heatstroke can happen very quickly. Be sure to pay attention to how much your child is drinking to avoid an emergency.
About the author:
Michael Braunold is CEO of Elepho, Inc, the company that created eClip. eClip is a device that attaches easily inside the car and connects to a cell phone via Bluetooth. It alerts parents if they walk more than 25 feet from their car without removing their child along with monitoring the temperature within the car. Additionally, Elepho has developed a device called eFloat to constantly monitor water temperature in a baby bath as well as eTherm to check baby temperatures.