(Editor's Note: The following information was submitted by the Offices of DA Marian Ryan.)
Burlington, MA – With summer right around the corner Middlesex County District Attorney Marian Ryan is launching MDAO’s annual “Summer Safety” educational campaign for parents, caretakers, and children.
“It’s the time of year when all of us, parents, caregivers, and grandparents, need to be reminded about the safety measures to be taken around pools and lakes, hot cars, and open windows,” said District Attorney Ryan. “Sharing this information again and again ensures that we are reaching as many people as possible to prevent possible tragedies, and it makes a difference.”
MDAO’s summer safety public awareness campaign aims to prevent accidental child deaths or serious injury by promoting water safety, preventing window falls and reminding parents to never leave a child alone in a car.
"We advise residents to take extra precautions this season while by the water to avoid tragedy,” Burlington Chief of Police Michael Kent said. “Please ensure your pool is properly fenced in, covered when not in use and that children are monitored and have a life jacket on at all times when poolside. The Burlington Police Department hopes the community has a safe and relaxing summer. "
"School's out - let's do our best to keep our kids safe," said Burlington Fire Chief Steve Yetman.
“Educating children and their parents on safety measures is key to protecting our kids and ensuring a safe, healthy and enjoyable summer for everyone,” said Richard Raymond, CEO of Armstrong Ambulance.
"We are proud to welcome our close community partners, the Burlington Police, Fire, and EMT Departments as well as Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan and support the ‘Summer Safety’ Awareness Campaign that will launch here today at Burlington Mall,” said Mike Connell, General Manager at Burlington Mall.
Of the estimated 5,000 children hospitalized each year due to unintentional drowning related incidents, 15% die in the hospital and 20% are left with permanent brain damage. It only takes 20 seconds for a child to drown and it can be in as little as 2-3 inches of water. The following are tips for parents and caregivers:
· Actively supervise children at all times in any body of water
- Teach children to swim
- Teach children to never swim alone
- Ensure that residential pools are locked and secure when not in use
- Keep climbable objects away from pool barriers
Window Safety: Kids Can’t Fly
Falls are the leading cause of injury to children, and falls from windows involving young children are especially serious. On average, 14 children a day are injured in window falls. The most common injuries are head and brain trauma and extremity fractures. To prevent window falls, parents and caregivers should:
- Lock all unopened windows
- Open windows from the top down if possible
- Keep toys and furniture such as beds and sofas away from windows
- Install window stops to prevent windows from opening more than 4 inches
- Install window guards with a quick-release feature for emergencies
- Plant shrubs or place other soft material under windows to cushion potential falls
- Don’t rely on screens to protect your child—screens do not protect children from falling out of windows.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates a closed car, sitting in the summer sun, quickly turns into an oven, with temperatures rising from 78 degrees to 100 degrees in just three minutes and to 125 degrees in 6-8 minutes. To keep children safe in and around cars, parents and caregivers should:
- Never leave children alone in a parked vehicle, even when they are asleep or restrained and even if the windows are open.
- Always lock your car and keep the keys out of children's reach. Make a habit of looking in the vehicle - front and back - before locking the door and walking away.
- If a child is missing, check the vehicle first, including the trunk.
- Ask your childcare provider to call you if your child does not show up for childcare.
- Do things to remind yourself that a child is in the vehicle such as placing your purse, briefcase or something else you need in the back seat so that you will have to check the back seat when you leave the vehicle.
Middlesex County is the largest county in Massachusetts and one of the largest counties in the country with 54 towns and cities and 26 colleges in urban, suburban, and rural areas, comprising over one quarter of the population of Massachusetts. The Middlesex District Attorney’s Office has offices throughout the county, including in Ayer, Cambridge, Concord, Framingham, Lowell, Malden, Marlborough, Newton, Somerville, Waltham and Woburn.
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