Whether your children participate in programs or enjoy playing outdoors, these spring safety tips will benefit parents everywhere.

Spring time is a season for hiking, grilling, gardening, and outdoor fun. Tony Woodward, MD, MBA, medical director of the division of emergency medicine at Seattle Children’s Hospital, offers advice for keeping kids healthy and out of the emergency room. Woodward mentions common hazards that come with spring time such as falls from open windows, availability of poisonous chemicals, playing around the grill, lawnmowers, trampolines and hiking. In all cases supervision plays a major role in preventing common spring time injuries. 

Window Falls
The key to prevent window falls is to move furniture away from windows, install window guards or stops and don’t rely on window screens. Woodward says that children can fall from windows open as little as five inches.

Spring Cleaning and Gardening
Poisoning is a concern year round but in the spring, fertilizers and other poisons for outdoor use are pulled out from the garage to begin cultivating plants, flowers and grasses. Parents should store all cleaning and gardening products in their original containers, up and out of the reach of children. 

Grilling
Keep children away from the grill and establish a safety zone, making sure the zone is at least 10 feet away from the grill. By taking this safety measure, parents can reduce the risk of a child touching the grill and severely burning themselves.

Lawnmowers 
Pick up any items in the lawn that could be potential safety hazards. Woodward says rocks and nails hidden in the grass can become fast-moving projectiles that could harm a child. Woodward recommends not letting children under 12 us a push mower and not allowing children under 16 to use a riding lawnmower. 

Trampoline
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) trampolines are not advised for home use, but offers the following precautions if families do choose to have a home trampoline:

  • Adult supervision at all times
  • One jumper on the trampoline at a time
  • No flips or somersaults
  • Adequate protective padding on the trampoline
  • Check equipment often for repair or replacement

Hiking

Wear appropriate footwear and clothing and pack extra water when preparing to hit the trails. Don’t forget sunscreen, insect repellant and first aid kit. Woodward suggests keeping children away from running water due to the fact that in the spring streams are higher, faster and colder compared to August.

Contact your local Child and Youth Programs today for more information about keeping children safe.