In July and early August, millions of American eyes will be on the pool. How will top U.S. swimmers Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte do in London?
Many Americans, both in the African-American community and elsewhere, are particularly excited about Cullen Jones and Lia Neal. Ebony Magazine calls Jones and Neal “two young Olympians poised to change what they say about African-Americans and swimming.”
Olympic swimmers, and even kids who compete in neighborhood swimming competitions, make the sport look so easy. We hope the Olympics is a conversation starter in your home as the Olympians inspire your children to learn how to swim. Do your best to teach your children not to fear the water. Pass on safety and fun at the same time. (See NBC’s Rock Center story on the importance of swimming.)
At home, we, as a nation, need more eyes on our much less experienced swimmers. All Olympic swimmers, from Jones to Phelps, from Neal to Lochte, have one thing in common with every child. At one time in their lives they didn’t know how to swim.
According to news reports, when Jones was 5 years old, he nearly drowned at a water park. (Source: Good Morning America/ABC) That’s when Jones started swimming lessons.
Lessons. They are a simple step that saves lives. They will help teach your child a life-saving skill: How to be safe around water. Use the Olympics as a conversation starter with your child about starting swimming lessons.
Between Memorial Day and July 17, at least 90 children younger than 15 were reported by media to have drowned in swimming pools. Another 106 children were sent to emergency rooms for nearly drowning. That’s about 2 children who died each day during that period.
Drowning is the leading cause of injury death for children ages 1 to 4. African-American children and young adults ages 5 to 19 die from drowning 6 times more often than their white peers, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And a USA Swimming/University of Memphis survey says that 70 percent of African-American and 60 percent of Hispanic/Latino children can’t swim.
Simple steps save lives.
- Stay within arm’s reach of children and non-swimmers at all times in and around the pool.
- Keep eyes on young children.
- Fence your pool with self-closing or self-latching gates.
- Assign a water watcher.
- Learn CPR.
- If a child is missing, check the pool first.
This week, pools and waterparks around the country are holding Pool Safely Days to help spread this message of safety. You can help, too. Post these buttons, badges and widget on your blogs, Facebook pages and websites. Put Pool Safely steps into play at your home. Teach them to your children and your neighbors.
Save a child’s life. Earn a gold medal in swimming safety.
This address for this post is: http://www.cpsc.gov/onsafety/2012/07/all-eyes-on-the-pool/
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This address for this post is: http://www.cpsc.gov/onsafety/2012/07/un-spark-tacular-celebration/
Do you have a passion for ATV riding? Do you throw caution to the wind when you ride?
What will the consequences mean for both you and your family?
When you ride, safety matters.
We’re concerned about the safety of your family. We’re not trying to take your ATVs away. We only want to make the riding experience safer so more riders stay alive and families stay together.
ATV safety matters because keeping you and your family safe matters.
About 700 people die every year in ATV-related accidents and another 136,000 go to hospital emergency rooms. Many of these injuries are life changing. So far this year, CPSC is aware of preliminary reports of 130 adults and 28 children under the age of 16 who have died in ATV-related incidents around the country. At least 14 adults and three children are reported to have died during Memorial Day weekend alone this year.
Every ATV rider in your family should take a hands-on training course taught by a certified instructor. Classes are offered by the ATV Safety Institute, local ATV rider groups, and some state departments of natural resources, state highway departments, and other agencies responsible for regulating ATV use. The National 4-H Council also sponsors educational seminars on safe riding for children and teenagers.
At CPSC, we know what can happen with ATVs, because for many years our staff has been investigating the ATV deaths reported to us. We sit across from parents and grandparents who often say, “If I had only known.”
We believe there would be a dramatic decline in deaths and injuries if riders follow these rules in addition to taking a safety training course:
- Always wear a helmet and other protective gear.
- Do not carry any passengers on single-rider ATVs.
- Ride off-road, not on paved roads.
- Know the terrain.
- Keep children younger than 16 on youth ATVs and off adult ATVs.
Know ATV safety to keep everyone in your family, you included, safe on the trails and help curb the rise of ATV deaths and injuries that happen every summer.
This address for this post is: http://www.cpsc.gov/onsafety/2012/06/atv-riders-keep-your-family-safe-and-on-the-trail/
This address for this post is: http://www.cpsc.gov/onsafety/2012/06/cpsc-science-fireworks-injuries/
Dads do lawnmowers. Dads do grills. This Father’s Day, give your dad the information that will help him do what he does safely.
Each year, about 110 people die and about 87,000 people are treated in emergency rooms from injuries associated with power lawnmowers. This includes walk-behind mowers, riding mowers, lawn tractors and garden tractors.
If you’re buying dad a new walk-behind rotary lawn mower, consider these factors. Then remind him about safety:
- Fill the fuel tank before starting the engine. NEVER refuel when the mower is running or hot.
- Pick up twigs, rocks and other debris before you mow. The whole family can help with this. Just make sure that children clear the area before the actual mowing begins.
- Cut dry grass, not wet grass. Wet clippings could jam the rotary blade and shut down the engine. When you need to remove clippings from the discharge chute, STOP the mower.
- Push the mower forward. Don’t pull it backward.
- On lawn slopes, if you are using a walk-behind rotary mower, mow across the slope. If you drive a riding mower, drive up and down the slope, not across it.
- Check safety features often and repair or replace them if needed. Do not remove any safety devices from a mower.
- When using an electric mower, organize your work so you first cut the area closest to the electrical outlet and then gradually move away. This will minimize your chance of running over the power cord and getting electrocuted.
As for the grill, here’s a maintenance and safety checklist for gas grills. Give him these key points:
- Check the grill’s hoses for cracking, brittleness, holes and leaks. The hose or tubing shouldn’t have any sharp bends.
- Hoses need to be as far from the hot surfaces as possible. Don’t let grease drip on them.
- Any time you reconnect a grill to the LP gas container, or if you smell gas, check for leaks. To do this, open the gas supply valve fully and apply a soapy solution (one part water, one part liquid detergent) with a brush at the connection points. If you see bubbles, there’s a leak. Turn off the gas, tighten the connection and test again. If you can’t stop the leak, replace the leaking parts.
- Do NOT light a grill if you detect a leak.
On average, about 3,600 people are treated in emergency rooms each year from injuries associated with gas, charcoal or propane grills. Of the 12 deaths each year associated with grills, about two-thirds are from carbon monoxide poisoning when a grill is used in an enclosed space like inside a house.
When grilling, always follow these safety tips:
- Only use a grill at least 10 feet away from your house or any building. Do not grill in a garage, breezeway, carport, porch, or under any surface that will burn.
- Never leave a grill unattended.
- Keep children away from the grill. The outside surface can burn when touched.
- Always follow the instructions that came with the grill.
All of this advice is meant to ensure that dad doesn’t spend Father’s Day in the emergency room. Have a happy and safe Father’s Day!
This address for this post is: http://www.cpsc.gov/onsafety/2012/06/safety-for-dad/