By Staff Reports
(Victor Valley)– April 26 is Safe Kids Day. Use this day as an opportunity for the whole family to review safe practices in the car, walking and biking, and playing sports!
Car seats can be a big learning curve for new parents, but as your child gets older it may become something that is overlooked. Be sure to check the weight and height requirements for your child’s car seat. While many people have been told that at 12 months a rear facing car seat should be turned around, the American Academy of Pediatrics urge parents to keep their babies rear-facing up to the second birthday.
In California all children who are under eight-years-old must be properly buckled into a car seat or booster in the back seat. Children 8 or older, or who are 57” tall, may use the vehicle seat belt if it fits properly with the lap belt low on the hips, touching the upper thighs, and the seat belt crossing the center of the chest. Safe Kids California recommends having your car seat checked by a certified child passenger safety technician to make sure it’s properly installed. You can find a Child Car Seat Inspection Station anywhere in California by visiting http://www.safercar.gov.
Being on a bicycle or on foot is a great opportunity to practice safety and healthy living as a family! If your child walks to school or rides a bike, be sure to accompany them. If you’re walking, remember, it’s always best to walk on sidewalks or paths and cross at street corners, using traffic signals and crosswalks. Teach kids at an early age to look left, right and left again when crossing the street.
Use your head, wear a helmet! Take your helmet and child to a bike shop and have the helmet fitted properly. Go back regularly as your child grows, they may need a bigger helmet sooner than you realize. If their helmet doesn’t fit comfortably, they will be more likely to take it off while riding.
It might seem safer to ride on the sidewalk, but that puts pedestrians in harm’s way. Teach your kids to ride on the right side of the road, with traffic, not against it. Stay as far to the right as possible. Be sure they’re staying off main roads, use side streets and ride through neighborhoods.
Playing sports is another great way to stay healthy, but, as with anything else, make sure safe habits are being practiced. When being active, getting enough fluids, especially water, is crucial. Make sure athletes drink fluids 30 minutes before the activity begins and every 15-20 minutes during activity.
Dehydration occurs when a body loses more water than it takes in (such as through sweating). The severity of dehydration can vary from mild to more life threatening if left unchecked. There are three levels of dehydration: heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heatstroke. Symptoms range from muscle cramping in the calves, back, arms or abdomen (heat cramps) to faintness or dizziness, nausea and rapid heartbeat (heat exhaustion) to collapse, emotional instability and very high body temperature (heatstroke).
To learn more about Safe Kids Day visit www.safekids.org/skd2015. Visit www.sbcfire.org to learn more about bicycle and car seat safety. San Bernardino County Fire hopes you have a great Safe Kids Day.