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Summer safety tips for children, families

Fayette County Coroner offers expert advice on how to stay safe in summer months

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 28, 2016) – As the Fayette County Coroner, Gary Ginn is exposed to many fatalities and the flawed decisions people make that can lead to death or serious injury. His experience has led him to develop a series of tips to help citizens avoid hazardous and harmful behavior. Because the summer months bring about a specific set of seasonal risks, Ginn is sharing his expert knowledge to help keep children and families safe this summer.

“Summer is a great time of year for kids and families – school is out, the weather is warm and folks have the chance to take vacations, visit parks and spend time outside,” said Ginn. “We want people to have fun, but also stay safe at the same time. The best advice is to rely on common sense. Take notice of your surroundings and identify possible risks that can be prevented, corrected or avoided. I hope my tips will help Lexington families stay safe and having fun this summer.”

Summer Safety Tips

Water Safety

–   Do not leave children unattended for any length of time with access to standing water in or out of the home. The risk of drowning is present near any pool or standing water. It takes very little water for children to drown in and it can happen very quickly.


–    If you see an accident on the highway, do not stop near it. Get yourself and your car safely off the highway and clear of the wreck before attempting to help. The road shoulder is not a safe place for stopping and puts you and your passengers at risk from other drivers.

–  The safest place for children to ride in a car is in the back seat. Make sure to have the right seat for your child’s age and size and that it is installed properly. All passengers should buckle up for every ride.

Heat and Sun

–  Never leave a child unattended in a car. The sun can quickly and literally turn a car into an oven. In 80 degree weather, the temperature inside a vehicle can rise up to 110 degrees in just minutes. Heatstroke occurs at 104 degrees and death may occur at 107 degrees. There is no safe amount of time to leave a child alone in a car.

When traveling with an infant in the backseat of a car, put your purse or phone in the back with the child to help avoid inadvertently leaving the baby in the car. 

Outside Play

–  If you have children or live in a neighborhood with children, pull your car into your driveway in reverse. This will increase your ability to see any child playing when you pull out of the driveway.

–    Helmets save lives. Always wear a helmet and require that your children wear a helmet that fits properly any time he/she uses a bike, scooter, skates, or skateboards.

Lawn Mowers

–  Do not let your children ride on or play with or around lawn equipment. There is no way to keep them safe on this equipment, even when you are with them. The added risk of exposing them to how “fun” the ride can be allows them to relate to it as a toy and play with it when you are not around. The powerful blades of lawn equipment can cause severe injury or immediate death to a child.

General Tips

– Never shake a baby. Traumatic brain injury can easily result from shaking and can cause permanent disability or death to a child.

– Babies need to sleep alone in their own crib. A firm mattress and a tight-fitting crib sheet is all your baby needs to be comfortable. Always lay your baby on his or her back for every sleep.

– Get rid of old medications and keep current medications secure and away from children.

– Know how to perform CPR.  Classes and CPR certification is available at your local Red Cross or community organization.