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Continued: Safety stuff all kids should know

  • Article by: JEFFREY HARGARTEN
  • Last update: May 22, 2013 - 10:50 AM

• Don’t move the person since this could injure the person more.

• Cover the injured person with you jacket, a blanket, or something else warm if he or she is cold.

• When an adult arrives, follow their instructions.

Fire safety

There were 5,039 residential fires in Minnesota in 2011, according to the State Fire Marshal.

Aside from the common advice to stop, drop and roll to extinguish clothes that catch fire, safety experts said children should also know not to stop to grab belongings during a blaze, or to reenter a burning building for any reason.

Children shouldn’t dial 911 from inside a burning house, but outside of it. While leaving a burning house, safety experts said occupants should crawl on the floor beneath the smoke and flames and avoid touching doors.

Kids often try to run back inside for a pet or if they don’t find their parents outside the burning building, Viana said. To counter this, children should know where a specific family meeting place is during a disaster; re-entering a burning building can be fatal.

Water safety

In 2012, seven of the 39 reported drowning deaths throughout Minnesota were children aged between one and 13, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

Water safety is a particular area of concern for the American Red Cross due to the “unfortunate number of drowning deaths in the community,” Hansen said.

It’s important to train children not to approach the water by themselves or when out of an adult’s sight. They should swim or wade only where they can be seen and always with someone else. Pushing or jumping on other swimmers is also highly discouraged.

Older children should know not to dive into water of uncertain depth, Viana said.

While in a boat, basic safety protocols like wearing a life jacket and not roughhousing or misbehaving apply.

Hansen underscored the importance of teaching children not to jump in after someone who is drowning, but rather to toss a rope or life preserver or to shout for immediate help. Those who attempt to leap in after a drowning person risk drowning themselves in the course of the rescue.

Seasonal Minnesota emergencies like flooding also present a drowning risk, Hansen added.

Street smarts

When children get lost or are walking by themselves, safety experts said it’s important they know who to trust and where to go.

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