With plenty of fresh air, warm temperatures and free time, summer should be a great time to be a child in Livonia. Injuries can happen so let's take a few minutes to reduce our risks of unwelcome mishaps during the summer months.
Bike riding, skateboarding and in-line skating are all ways kids can spend time during the summer. Make it a rule to wear protective gear when involved in these activities. Studies indicate that approximately 80 percent of all head injuries to bike riders could have been prevented with a helmet. Bike riders should ride on the right side of the road and avoid riding at night.
Always take advantage of restraint systems when traveling in the car. Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of unintentional injury-related deaths for children, killing 33,000 and injuring another 2 million each year in the United States. They are easy to use and just take a second to click in place. Children under the age of 12 should ride properly restrained in the back seat of the vehicle.
Gasoline is used in our lawn care equipment, but has the ability to spread a fire very quickly once ignited. Store gasoline outside the home if possible, and high on a shelf in a properly labeled container. Before fueling, take your lawn equipment into an open area. Before refueling, turn the equipment off and let it cool down completely.
Fireworks cause thousands of injuries serious enough to require emergency room treatment every year. As you might have guessed, those injuries occur mainly in the summer months. The best way to enjoy fireworks safely is to attend an outdoor public display such as the one at Livonia Spree.
Never leave children unattended while they enjoy the vast amounts of water we have available for recreation here in Michigan. Children have drowned in just a few inches of water so always be aware of children and water. Home pools should also have gates, a handy telephone, a few items to reach for or throw to someone in trouble and at least one set of adult eyes. On the lakes, a properly-fitted life jacket should be required. We have all heard too many stories of people drowning where life jackets were available but not used.
If you will be doing any camping this summer, start with a flame-retardant tent and keep it well away from the campfire. Keep someone in charge of watching the campfire and cooling it down at the end of the night. Keep a bucket of water and a shovel near the campfire pit to control any possible problems. Inside the tent, use only battery-powered lanterns and flashlights.
Your Livonia firefighters hope you have a safe and healthy summer. Please feel free to contact us about any of your summer safety concerns. By following a few basic rules of safety, your summer activities should bring your family a season full of enjoyment.
Tom Kiurski is training coordinator for the Livonia Fire Department.