With teen schedules more open in the summer and curfews extended, it can feel like a 3-month weekend. Help teens understand the risks associated with swimming, walking and driving.
- Pick out a life jacket and wear it when boating or swimming in water where there is no lifeguard. There are many comfortable, stylish models including inflatable life jackets.
- “Buddy Up”, enjoy the company of a friend.
- Be prepared, learn CPR and practice problem-solving so getting help is not delayed.
- Know your limits, don’t miss judge swimming abilities. Knowing how to float, tread water and swim to safety are critical survival skills. Don’t swim where you are uncomfortable.
- Know the water. Swimming in a river, lake, or ocean is different from swimming in a pool. It requires more energy to handle currents and changing conditions. When first entering into any water, do it feet first. Only dive in water that is at least 9 feet deep.
- Wear sunscreen, enjoy the shade, take a break from the sun.
- Keep hydrated by drinking plenty of water.
- Getting too cool? Staying in very cool water for long periods can lower body temperature. Monitor yourself when swimming in cold water and stay close to shore. If you start to shiver or have muscles cramp up, get out of the water quickly and bundle up!
- Alcohol and water never mix. Alcohol affects judgment, swimming skills and increases the effects of hypothermia.
- Be visible. Fluorescent or bright-colored clothes help people see you — even in the daytime. Avoid wearing black, brown, or navy, especially if it is getting dark outside.
- Wear lightweight clothes to avoid becoming overheated. Carry a water bottle and drink plenty of water.
- When using a cell phone, stop walking and find a safe place to talk.
- When using headphones, be sure to look up and pay extra attention and remove them when crossing the street.
- Cross streets at corners, using traffic signals and crosswalks. Most injuries happen mid-block or someplace other than at intersections.
- It’s always best to walk on sidewalks or paths. If there are no sidewalks, walk facing traffic as far to the left as possible.
- Look left, right, left and keep looking in all directions when crossing the street. Never run or dart out into the street or cross between parked cars.
- Make eye contact with drivers before crossing in front of them and watch out for cars that are turning or backing up.
The majority of the crashes involving teen drivers are the result of distracted and inexperienced driving. Remember, safe driving is a skill acquired over time.
- Keep cell phones off and don’t text. Don’t try the “texting-while-stopped” approach. When your head is down, you won’t notice key developments that occur.
- Always drive with headlights on to increase visibility.
- Obey the speed limit. Speeding is a major contributor to fatal teen accidents.
- Require everyone in the vehicle to wear their seat belt.
- Minimize Distractions. It’s tempting to eat, drink, flip the radio dial, or play music loudly. These can cause your mind or vision to wander. Distractions significantly increase the chances of not noticing danger or noticing it too late and losing control of the vehicle.
- Drive Solo. Having an additional teen passenger in your car doubles the risk of causing a crash. Adding additional teen passengers causes the risk to escalate.
- Practice Defensive Driving. Be aware of the traffic ahead, behind, and next to you, and have possible escape routes in mind. Stay at least one car length behind the car in front of you.
Oregon Teen Driving Laws flier
Safe Kids Oregon works to prevent unintentional childhood injury, the number one cause of death for children in the United States. Safe Kids Oregon is a member of Safe Kids Worldwide, a global network of organizations dedicated to preventing unintentional injury. Safe Kids Oregon was founded in 1995 and is led by Oregon Public Health. Click here for information on other Injury Areas.