Wellness Wednesday: recreate safely this summer

Posted at 7:48 AM, Jun 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-10 09:52:25-04

BOISE, Idaho — As states begin to reopen, you may be thinking of booking or rebooking a family vacation. So how can you get to your destination safely?

For those looking to travel by car, remember there are do's and don'ts when it comes to making sure children are safe while in the vehicle.

"Making sure, for one, that we have the appropriate child safety in the vehicle so appropriate car seats for all kiddos, and if you're traveling across state borders, making sure that you look at those state laws as many states have different laws as to how old a child needs to be in the car seat still," says Josie Bryan, Pediatric Education & Prevention Program Coordinator at St. Luke's Children's.

In Idaho, the law states children must be in approved child care safety seats if they're 6 years of age or younger. Children are also recommended to stay in child safety seats until they reach 4'9. Laws in Oregon and Washington are different--children have to be older before they can ride in the car while not in a safety seat. Rear-facing laws are also different from Idaho law.

If you're looking at staying close to home to enjoy one of Idaho's lakes or rivers, keep water and sun safety in mind.

"Always play it safe. Making sure you have your approved life jackets, whether you're on a boat or off to the side. Making sure your children maybe have gone through swim lessons, that you're constantly with them in the water. That water can be really cold and can make a world of difference for them based on the pools that they're used to swimming in," says Bryan.

Bryan says they expect to see more families enjoying recreational water sites outside as many local pools will remain closed or at a limited capacity because of the COVID-19 pandemic. She suggests appointing someone in your party as a "water watcher."

"Assign an adult that you know will watch the kids. That adult's not reading a book. They're not down on their phone. They're physically with the children, watching the children, while they're in the water, too," explains Bryan.

As the weather heats up, families may hit the pavement on two wheels and go on bike rides in their neighborhood. Bryan says St. Luke's is there to provide an extra safety cushion for children getting ready to ride.

"We have a free helmet program, and it's for anybody who needs a free helmet for children 14 and under. We know how important that is, and so we want to make sure everyone has that resource available to them," says Bryan.

Many families have already requested helmets this year. Those are being fitted and given out through private appointments because of COVID-19 safety measures at St. Luke's. For more on how your child can get a free helmet, click here.

To find out more about staying healthy this summer, click here. You can also contact the St. Luke's Children's Injury Prevention at (208) 381-1719.