Boy Scouts of America Kicks Off Summer With Observation of National Safety Month, Shares Safety Tips

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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 unfortunate events.

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 activities."

The BSA's 16 summer safety tips are:

  1. Qualified Supervision—Every activity should be supervised by an adult who is prepared to supervise and engage in the activity.
  2. 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.
  3. 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 strenuous activity.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Personal Safety Equipment—An adult must ensure that every participant has and uses the appropriate personal safety equipment.
  7. 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 and comply.
  8. 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.
  9. 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 indoor activity.
  10. 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.
  11. Communication—Adult supervisors should communicate effectively with participants as needed during the activity. Emergency communications also need to be considered in advance.
  12. 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.
  13. 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 help.
  14. Applicable Laws—Laws are there for everyone's safety. They should be followed at all times.
  15. 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.
  16. 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 own safety.

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 www.scouting.org/councils

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.

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