Tips for Keeping Your Family Safe During Summer Vacation

July 04, 2024

family enjoying backyard bbq

As families plan for summer activities at home and away, ensuring the safety of children during vacation is paramount. With many families opting for rentals featuring pools or located near oceans or lakes, and celebrating with fireworks, understanding necessary precautions can prevent potential tragedies.

Tamar Levene, MD, general surgeon at Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital, shares these safety tips to help parents keep their children safe during their summer and holiday festivities.

Water Safety

Inspecting the Property

  • Check pool areas for safety features such as fencing, gates, and locks.
  • Identify potential hazards around pools or water areas.

Supervision and Safety Measures

Water Watcher lanyards and whistle
  • Designate a 'Water Watcher': Always have a responsible adult act as a "water watcher" who will not be distracted by phones or other activities. This person should be dedicated solely to supervising children near water.
  • Water Rules: Establish and enforce clear water use rules, such as no running, no diving in shallow areas, and never swimming alone.
  • No Floaties: Floaties and swim wings should never be used in pools, lakes, or ocean because they provide a false sense of safety. Make sure you and your children know how to swim before they enter any body of water.

Emergency Preparedness

  • Have a first aid kit readily available and know emergency contacts.
  • Learn CPR and have an emergency plan in place, including knowing the address of your location and the nearest ER or hospital.

Fireworks Safety

Supervision and Handling

  • Never allow children to light or handle fireworks.
  • Always supervise children around fireworks and ensure they understand the dangers.
  • Sparklers, which can burn up to 2,000 degrees and melt metal, are not safe for kids to hold.
  • Light fireworks on flat concrete, as grass burns easily.
  • Keep a safe distance(150 ft) from private fireworks displays.
  • Never mix alcohol and fireworks.
  • Only use legal fireworks labeled “emits showers of sparks” or “consumer fireworks” and avoid fireworks wrapped in brown paper packaging or products labeled “professional.”

Safety Gear

  • Always wear protective gear–such as safety goggles, closed-toe shoes, and long pants/shirt–when handling fireworks.
  • Keep a bucket of water or a hose nearby to douse any accidental fires.

Check out these fireworks safety tips on our Facebook page.

Burn Safety

First Aid & Preventing Burns

  • Immediate steps to take if a child suffers a burn, include cooling the burn with running water and covering it with a clean cloth.
  • Keep children away from grills, campfires, and any open flames.