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Memorial Day hazards for kids

5 Dangers Lurking in the Shadows on Memorial Day

Memorial Day is just around the corner. Our nation comes together in a beautiful celebration of those who died serving our country. Memorial Day also traditionally marks the beginning of summer. Everyone breaks out the BBQs, bathing suits, and bicycles for some fun in the sun. However, it’s always important to keep potential Memorial Day hazards top of mind. So let’s talk about the necessary precautions for keeping your kids healthy and safe during your Memorial Day celebrations.

5 Memorial Day Hazards and How to Avoid Them

We always see more children in the ER during holiday weekends. Although Memorial Day is fun and relaxing, things can easily become stressful and dangerous when injuries such as bruises, broken bones, and food-related illnesses occur.

In addition to minor injuries, there is also an increase in very serious and sometimes deadly injuries such as drownings, head injuries, and serious burns during this time of year.

So keep your kids safe as we ring in the summer season, and avoid these 5 Memorial Day hazards.

1. The grill is for the dads, not the children.

People underestimate not only how dangerous a grill can be but also how dangerous the tools required to grill can be. It is imperative that you keep children and pets far away from the grill area at all times.

An important tip is to declare a 4-foot “kid-free zone” around the grill. Make sure the children’s table is a safe distance away from cooking areas and that there are no toys or activities occurring in close proximity to the grill.

The accessories used to cook, such as spatulas, food thermometers, tongs, and grill forks can cause deep cuts requiring stitches and serious burns when hot off the grill. Keep these items and any gas, oil, charcoal, lighters, or lighter fluid out of the reach of children. Hanging accessories on the BBQ or placing them on a side table provides easy access for the little ones and may result in serious injury.

2. Helmets are a must.

Children can’t wait to get out their bikes, scooters, and skateboards!

No child wants to wear a helmet, but I promise they save lives. It is your responsibility as a parent to ensure your child wears a helmet consistently and correctly.

Head injuries are commonly caused by biking accidents and can result in very serious injury or even death. Never underestimate the importance of a helmet.

Hoverboards are another one of the most dangerous toys on the market today.

3. Trampolines and bounce houses are dangerous.

Every parent loves a good bounce house. They are an easy crowd pleaser. Unfortunately, they can result in serious injuries, even requiring surgery sometimes.

If you are going to have a bounce house at your BBQ, please make sure to maximize trampoline and bounce house safety by making sure the children are supervised at all times and limiting the amount of children bouncing at one time.

4. Never underestimate the danger of a pool.

It is important to understand that no matter how well your child can swim, he or she can panic and forget their skills within seconds. Never underestimate the danger of pools, especially if there are a lot of children swimming at the same time.

Drowning can be an extremely difficult thing to spot, and children often get overlooked when the pool is congested with people.

If you are hosting a Memorial Day celebration and swimming is involved, I highly suggest hiring a lifeguard to supervise the pool. A great tip is to go to your local pool and ask about hiring a lifeguard. Most of the time, it isn’t that expensive, and it is worth every penny.

Any swimming child under the age of 4 years old must be within arms length of an adult at all times.

5. Sunblock, Sunblock, Sunblock!

Sun protection should be every parent’s #1 priority when celebrating the holiday outside. UVA and UVB rays not only cause cancer, but sunburns are horribly painful and uncomfortable.

Apply sunblock 15-30 minutes before sun exposure and reapply every 45 minutes to an hour.

Although sunblocks and sticks are imperative, physical barriers such as SPF clothing, umbrellas, and shade are equally as important.

Children under the age of 6 months should not wear sunblock, so if you are planning on spending the holiday outside with your baby, you must have shade. I love a portable pop-up beach cabana or tent. It’s the perfect spot for your child’s nap and is easy to carry and set up!

Final Thoughts on Memorial Day for Kids

You can certainly avoid all of these Memorial Day hazards by preparing and staying alert. I hope everyone kicks off the summer season with some fun family celebrations.

Have a safe and happy Memorial Day!

~Dr. Katie

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