Boy Scouts of America Kicks Off Summer With Observation of National Safety
month, Shares Safety Tips
Nation's Largest Youth Organization Offers
Guidelines for Ensuring a Safe Summer
According to Safe Kids Worldwide, 40 percent of all unintentional
injury-related deaths occur from May to August—a time emergency room
doctors know as "trauma season" . In response to this critical period, and
in observation of National Safety Month, the Boy Scouts of America offers 16
summer safety tips, which can be used to help ensure a safer summer.
During the summer months while children are on vacation, many are often
left unsupervised, contributing to the millions of emergency room visits and
thousands of accidental deaths. Adopting proper safety measures and following
simple guidelines can help youth and parents alike in preventing these
The BSA encourages Americans to use its safety tips—rules that are
normally employed during Scouting activities but that are applicable to all
activities—for a safer summer.
"Safety is a priority for every Scout during any Scout activity," said
Bill Steele, director, Health & Safety, BSA. "But the best Scouts employ these
lessons in their own lives, and the BSA wants to continue to stress safety first
in all activities. While summer is a time for fun, it's also a time to be aware
of safety; the BSA's 16 safety points can be used with great success in all
The BSA's 16 summer safety tips are:
- Qualified Supervision—Every activity should be
supervised by an adult who is prepared to supervise and
engage in the activity.
- Physical Fitness—No one—neither youth nor
adults—should participate in activities for which they
are unfit. Keeping healthy and fit will allow youth to enjoy
summer activities safely for years to come.
- Buddy System—The long history of the buddy system
in Scouting has shown that it is always best to have at least
one other person with you and aware at all times of your
circumstances and what you are doing in any outdoor or
- Safe Area or Course—Know the area or course for
the activity and determine if it is well-suited and free of hazards
prior to beginning.
- Equipment Selection and Maintenance—Many activities
require specialized equipment. The equipment should be selected
to suit the participants and the activity and to include
appropriate safety and program features. An adult should check
equipment periodically to determine whether it is in good
condition for the activity and ensure it is kept properly
maintained for future use.
- Personal Safety Equipment—An adult must ensure that
every participant has and uses the appropriate personal safety
- Safety Procedures and Policies—For most activities,
common-sense procedures and standards can greatly reduce any
risk. Adults should make sure participants know safety procedures
- Skill Level Limits—Every activity has a minimum
skill level, and an adult supervisor should make sure that
participants are not put at risk by attempting any activity
beyond their abilities.
- Weather Check—The risks of many outdoor activities
vary substantially with weather conditions. Check the weather
beforehand and be aware of any possibly dangerous conditions. If
it is not safe, reschedule the activity or participate in an
- Planning—Good planning minimizes risks and also
anticipates contingencies that may require an emergency response
or a change of plan. Plan ahead for safety and fun.
- Communication—Adult supervisors should communicate
effectively with participants as needed during the activity.
Emergency communications also need to be considered in advance.
- Permits and Notice—Appropriate notification should be given
to parents, enforcement authorities, landowners, and others as needed,
before and after activities. Youth should inform parents of activity
and get permission before participating.
- First Aid—Some activities might require first aid either
because of injury or as a precaution. Always consider this before
starting any activity and make sure youth know where to go for
- Applicable Laws—Laws are there for everyone's safety.
They should be followed at all times.
- CPR Resource—Any strenuous activity could present a
cardiac emergency. An adult supervisor trained in cardiopulmonary
resuscitation is an excellent resource during outdoor or out-of-the-way
activities. Youth are encouraged to learn CPR as well, and should know
where to go for help at all times.
- Discipline—Activities can be fun for all participants
if rules are followed and adult supervision obeyed. Youth should
respect adult counterparts and follow their directions for their
Boy Scout councils throughout the nation use these safety guidelines
year-round for activities ranging from campouts to troop meetings to wilderness
hikes. Councils will highlight these and other safety programs throughout the
month of June in an effort to raise awareness of the importance of safety. For
more information about Boy Scout council activities in your area, please visit
Serving nearly 4.5 million young people between 7 and 20 years of age with
more than 300 councils throughout the United States and its territories, the
Boy Scouts of America is the nation's foremost youth program of character
development and values-based leadership training. For more information on the
BSA, please visit www.scouting.org.