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The following press release on Summer Safety Tips for Irish Parents was released yesterday by the National Standards Authority of Ireland (NSAI) and is full of useful information and tips.

Summer has arrived and for all its pleasant pastimes like beach, lake and river visits, barbeques, cycling, and outdoor activities, a hospital near you is seeing the usual seasonal spike in children’s attendance in their A&E department. If you add up the pain of broken bones, the angst of a childhood summer spent in a cast, time taken off work, not to mention medical bills, you’ve got a costly impact on families.

Maurice Buckley, CEO, NSAI (National Standards Authority of Ireland) said, “Summer is always the season we look forward to each year as it is a fun and exciting time for our children. However, in order to make sure you and your children enjoy this summer as accident free as is possible, we would like to offer some top tips on safety to parents and Irish consumers.”

1.    Sporty & Safe Summer! Check all sports equipment for the CE (Conformité Européenne) mark which is an indication that the product meets the essential safety requirements set down by EU law. The appropriate helmet should always be worn when undertaking any activity, such as cycling or skateboarding or playing hurling, in which a person might fall at a high rate of speed or suffer a head trauma. The WHO estimates that the head trauma injury can be reduced by 69% when a helmet is worn during a collision or fall.

2.    Water Safety. 143 people drowned in Ireland in 2008¹. It is an offence not to wear a life jacket when on board a boat or floatable device. “The most common sense advice is to have an adult supervising the children in the water at all times. There are eight European standards for personal floatation devices and all these devices must carry the CE mark. Parents and summer camp instructors should also check that all lifejackets have the CE mark and the lifejacket may also the I.S. EN ISO 12402 standard mark,” says Buckley.

3.    Travelling by car: 77% of child fatalities in collisions (1996-2000) were due to a lack of or misuse of a child restraint car seat, according to the Road Safety Authority. Make sure to choose the right child safety seat. Child seats are categorized by the weight of the child, not the child’s height. Only child seats with an E mark and supplied with instructions for installation and instructions for use are acceptable. Since 2006, it is mandatory for children up to 1.5 metres in height (about 11 to 12 years of age) to be appropriately restrained while travelling in a car – either in a child seat, in a booster seat or on a booster cushion.  The requirement for child seats is UN-ECE R44.04, so look for the E mark on car seats.

4.    Trampolines: Trampolines get uncovered during the summer months.  NSAI advise parents to be vigilant and take special precautions when letting their children use trampolines this summer. When buying a trampoline, make sure it comes with a safety net and a protective pad around the springs and that it also meets the I.S. EN 13219 standard.

5.     Playing Fields and Goal Posts: In response to fatal accidents on playing fields NSAI developed Standards I.S.356 and I.S.357, Standards in Goalpost Safety. These standards put codes of practice in place which sporting bodies and organisations can adhere to across all sports, including soccer, rugby, GAA and camogie. Parents should ask the relevant organisation if their goal posts adhere to these codes of practice.

Maurice Buckley, CEO, said “Whether playing sport at the local park or enjoying a beach holiday, every day consumers are protected by NSAI standards that ensure safety and reduce injuries. By exercising caution and a little common-sense, families can enjoy a safe and fun summer.”

For more information on safety and accident prevention, visit www.nsai.ie.

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