Keep Safety in Mind This Summer
By Office of Communication
Posted on May 25, 2012, May 25, 2012

Memorial Day's unofficial start of summer means grilling, pool parties and kids more than ready to celebrate the end of another school year with an array of outdoor activities. For fire and police officials, it's also the unofficial start of a dangerous time of year.

Nearly 6,000 kids up to age 19 die as a result of unintentional injuries in June, July and August, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Each summer, about 2.7 million children visit the ER as a result of injuries around the pool, in the backyard and while bike riding. About 200,000 children under 14 wind up in the ER for playset-related injuries every year.

Fire Safety
Barbecue grill fires result in about 8,000 home fires annually, according to the National Fire Protection Association. The top three accidental structure fire causes include cooking, electrical and children playing.
Arlington Fire Chief Don Crowson said teach children that fire is used as a tool, "not a toy," and make sure that matches and lighters are out of their reach.
"It's important to develop and practice a home fire escape plan," he said. "Children are naturally curious about fire. But a natural exploration of the unknown can lead to sudden tragedy and even death."

Water Safety
With the heat, children are also drawn to water - home pools, public pools and lakes. General water safety tips include maintaining constant supervision, not allowing children to swim alone, and knowing CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation).
It's advised to completely fence the pool. Install self-closing and self-latching gates and position the latches out of the reach of young children. Instruct babysitters about potential hazards to young children in and around the pool.
Enroll children in learn-to-swim programs and install a phone by the pool or keep a cordless phone nearby to call 911 quickly if a problem occurs.
For tips on pool safety, visit safety. . For other water-related safety tips, go to and click on public education.

Outdoor Safety
When bike riding, police strongly suggest the wearing of helmets, stopping and checking traffic before riding into the street, not riding at night, wearing light or bright-colored clothing and giving cars and pedestrians the right-of-way. To learn more about bike safety at

Car Safety
Did you know on a warm day, the temperature inside a closed vehicle can quickly rise to 120 to 140 degrees? Unfortunately, summer is also the time of year parents and caregivers accidentally leave young children in unattended cars. Chief Crowson said children are usually placed in car seats directly behind the driver's seat where it is often easy to forget they are there.
"One way to prevent this is to give yourself a visual cue," he said. "Try placing a briefcase or other item you will need next to the child."

Whether you're planning a staycation or an outdoor bash at the pool, Arlington police and fire departments are reminding everyone to exercise their safety muscles and take stock of play equipment, grills and pools.


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