(WFSB) – This weekend some of Connecticut’s top health experts want to make sure everyone enjoys the holiday as safely as possible.
After the last few months, everyone deserves a spectacular holiday weekend, but as we ease into summer, health experts want to remind families to have fun but also make sure they are following a few easy tips to keep children safe.
“We simply need to be present, stay focused, and stay in the moment. As we’ve learned, things can change in an instant,” said Vanessa Dorantes, Connecticut DCF Commissioner.
A team of experts offered guidance outside Connecticut Children’s Medical Center. They warn the summer is the most perilous time of the year for children and the COVID-19 crisis only makes things more dangerous.
“Families are really experiencing new strains and stressors. One of those is keeping an eye on their children at all times when families are struggling to manage work and housework and schoolwork,” said Sarah Eagan, Office of the Child Advocate.
Experts say those distractions are actually a bigger threat to children’s’ safety than the virus. The danger is even more serious in the water because drowning is the number one cause of accidental deaths for children between the ages of 1 and 4.
“Always, always, always have a water watcher that supervises active children when they are in or around water,” said Michele Rulnick, CEO of Middlesex YMCA. “Adults must watch children without distraction.”
Experts says parents should not be on their cellphones when watching children. They also say to empty kiddie pools after a child is done using it.
If possible, children should be signed up for swimming lessons as soon as they are old enough. Local YMCA’s will never turn down a family if they can’t pay.
“It’s not too early and it’s never too late to learn to swim. Swimming lessons significantly reduce childhood drowning,” Rulnick said.
Some other common tips from experts are kids must always wear a bike helmet, never play with fireworks, and avoid riding with drunk drivers. This year is unique due to the virus, so children should wear masks and stay six feet apart.
“Just 12 short months ago, we were here talking about summer safety and since then, the world has turned upside down. Could any of us have imagined that we’d be in these circumstances today,” Dorantes said.
For more summer safety tips, click here.