Don't Let Summer Play Become Your Version of X Games

Say the words “summer extreme sports” and into your mind springs those daredevils of danger:

  • Skateboarders leaping miles in the air into impossible flips.
  • Cliff divers plunging from heights with a death wish only cheated by perfectly timing the waves.
  • BMX madmen submerging in valleys of mud after going airborne on the high banks, breaking free just in time to grab a breath and barely dodge another bike before climbing the next hill to do it all again.
  • Hang gliders leaping from bridges and sea cliffs.
  • Rafters careening through roaring rapids and boulders.
  • And, of course, your nine-year old playing on the swing set in your back yard.

Does that last one surprise you? Maybe it shouldn’t. Medical experts say the number-one cause of summer sports injury is falling on a playground, followed closely by falling off a bike. Add in “weekend warrior” syndrome for out-of-shape adults and you are more likely to be sharing a summer hospital bed next to a 10-year-old bike rider than an adrenaline-crazed bungee-jumper.

Given the high numbers of summer injuries arising from what may be termed “local, everyday” activities, this may be a perfect time to schedule a session with your Trusted Choice® agent. You can ask how your homeowners insurance will handle injuries to others occurring on your property or as a result of your family’s activities—such as that baseball through the neighbor’s window, or that young friend who came to a painful landing after exiting a swing in midair due to a perhaps well-meant but overly vigorous push from your young son.

And don’t overlook reviewing your personal coverage for injury to your own family, whether from playing in the yard or swimming at the beach.

Helpful Tips

But there is no better injury than the one that never happens. Here are a few solid prevention tips for everyday play, courtesy of Parents.com and your Trusted Choice® agent:

  • Wear proper gear. Properly fitted protective gear is just the ticket for kid safety. For games such as baseball and softball, proper equipment can prevent upper body and sprains to the joints. Your dentist would also insist on a mouth guard when participating in any sport with significant risk for injury: football, hockey, basketball, baseball, gymnastics, and volleyball, for example.
  • Warm-up and cool down. Just like adults, kids should have time to warm-up before play and cool down after.
  • Evaluate the environment. Is the playing area safe? Check for hazards such as thorns, low branches, puddles, broken glass, rocks and holes. When swimming, are there enough certified lifeguards?
  • Keep your child hydrated. Frequent water breaks help prevent heat cramps, heat exhaustion, heat strokes and other heat-related illnesses.
  • “De-danger” the pool. Although kids hate to be told “stop horsing around,” the reality is most pool injuries stem from rough play. Proper chlorine levels protect against waterborne illness. Closely supervise any young child near the water.
  • Don’t get ripped by a rip. When at the shore, teach your kids the strategy for getting out of a rip current—those deadly streams that pull swimmers quickly away from the shoreline. Experts suggest the following steps:
    • Don’t panic; remain calm and think clearly.
    • Remember rip currents tend to be narrow, rarely exceeding 100 feet in width; think of escaping it as stepping off a treadmill: to the side, not to front or back, is the quickest way out.
    • Don’t fight against the current, but swim (or float or tread water if you are unable to swim) out of the current by moving parallel to the shoreline.
    • Only when free of the current, make your way to shore, remembering to angle away from the current.

For more safety tips for adults as well as children, talk with your Trusted Choice® agent today.

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