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Benedetto, who met with parents outside the school on Thursday, June 26, urged them to take time to be informed about important safety issues to help prevent their children from serious injury while participating in outdoor activities.
“During the summer months kids have more freedom and tend to push the boundaries a little more,” Benedetto said. “Swimming, biking, walking, skating, and playing safely is our goal and prevention is the key.”
Benedetto noted that based on previous information, Safe Kids USA estimates that children ages 14 and under will be rushed to emergency rooms nearly 3 million times due to serious injuries resulting from drowning, bike crashes, pedestrian incidents, falls, motor-vehicle accidents, and other hazards this summer.
Also, according to the non-profit organization dedicated to educating and protecting families from accidental injury, 40% of all unintentional injury related deaths occur from May to August, with July being the deadliest time for childhood unintentional injury.
“In five summers, 2000-2004, 82 children ages 14 and under died in New York from accidental drowning – an average of 16 kids every summer,” Benedetto said. “Practically every one of those deaths could have been prevented.”
P.S. 14 parent Michelle Mondello said that her work as a lifeguard when she was a teenager has proved invaluable.
“As part of that training we took CPR,” Mondello said. “I was able to save a relative’s life later on because of that training. I think we should train people in the community to learn CPR. It could save a child’s life.”
Benedetto, a member of the NYS Assembly Consumer Affairs and Protection Committee, urged parents to be more observant and to review safety information before school lets out and children will be outside even more.
“Summer is a time for fun and relaxation, but we must always remember to be safe while we are having fun,” Benedetto continued. “Whether it’s exhibiting caution while barbecuing, wearing helmets while bicycling, wearing protective gear while skating or applying sunscreen at the beach, we can’t forget that ‘safety first insures a fun summer.’”
Benedetto said that with 1.2 million kids hitting the streets for summer, the event helped to alert parents and raise awareness about the fact that summertime is trauma season for kids.
To request a NYS Assembly “Playing it safe” or “Bicycle Safety and New York State Helmet Law” pamphlet, call Assemblyman Benedetto’s district office at (718) 892-2235.
©2008 Community Newspaper Group
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