Prevent summer injuries 101 (Part 1)

By Vanessa Racine, social medias coordinator

It’s summertime and many parents and caregivers are encouraging children to put down their devices and go play outside. Once in the great outdoors, kids run, jump, play, pedal, skip, and climb, and can unfortunately collect some bumps, bruises, scrapes and falls along the way. But don’t panic! For every little owie, there’s a treatment, ointment and bandage that will comfort young and old alike.

Better safe than sorry!

It’s always best to prevent injuries before they happen. To do that, it’s essential that you keep a watchful eye and make sure children have the equipment they need to have fun safely:

Using skateboards, scooters and rollerblades safely

To keep children safe while skateboarding and rollerblading:

  • Restrict skateboarding and rollerblading to children over 5 years of age.
  • Only allow children to use playgrounds and paths that are built for skateboarding and rollerblading.
  • Insist that children wear the correct equipment: a bicycle helmet approved by the Canadian Standards Association (CSA Group), Snell Memorial Foundation, or American National Standards Institute (ANSI), as well as elbow, wrist, and knee pads.
  • Ensure that children wear bright clothing while skateboarding or rollerblading. This makes children more visible and reduce the risk of collisions.

Using bicycles safely

A little boy on a bike wearing a helmet
Ensure that children follow these rules when using a bicycle:

  • Walk bicycles across roads only at intersections and pedestrian crosswalks.
  • Before you cross, make sure that traffic crossing your path is fully stopped at stop signs or traffic signals.
  • Ride in a straight line when you go down a road or street. Do not swerve between parked cars or onto driveways.
  • Always look and signal in plenty of time before turning.
  • Wear bright clothes, even during the day. When motorists can see a cyclist, it is easier for them to safely share the road.
  • Do not ride a bicycle after dark.

Also, when choosing a bicycle for a child, ensure that it is the proper size:

  1. Have the child stand over the bicycle seat with both feet flat on the ground.
  2. Lift the bicycle up to the child’s body (both tires off the floor). There should be at least 2.5 cm (1 in.) between the tires and the floor.
  3. While on the seat, the child should be able to put the balls of their feet on the ground.

Finally, keep the following points in mind when choosing a child’s helmet:

  1. Use helmets that are approved by the Canadian Standards Association (CSA Group), Snell Memorial Foundation or American National Standards Institute (ANSI).
  2. The helmet should fit squarely on the child’s head and have a snug chin strap.
  3. If a helmet is involved in a fall, buy another one. Even if no damage is visible, the helmet may have lost some of its ability to absorb shock.

Read more about bike safety.

To help you feel confident about treating any type of minor injury, update your first aid training, keep a well stocked first aid kit handy at home and in your vehicle, and download our first aid app for helpful tips at your fingertips. 

Download the free Red Cross First Aid App so that you always have first aid advice at your fingertips. 


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