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The dog days of summer are no time to let safety standards slip

This is the time of year that parents take their kids shopping for school supplies and new clothes. Summer is winding down, Labor Day is approaching and kids have grown an inch or two since they were last in a classroom. Time to hit those sales at the mall.

This is also the time when families take off for their last getaways of the summer. A last week at the cabin or a road trip to Saratoga or the Hudson River Valley will wrap up the summer before everyone's schedules start to fill up.

You and your family may know that mall like the back of your hand. You may have biked that trail a hundred times. You may think your kids are old enough to know what not to do -- your kids may think they know, too. The truth is, we should never take shortcuts when safety is concerned.

Escalators are risky places, especially for small children. Adults should take hold of a child's hand before stepping onto the escalator. The first step should be quick and careful, and both adult and child should hold onto one or both handrails. If there are yellow lines on the treads, stay inside of them. Face forward, exit quickly and step aside to allow others to exit as well.

Remember that accidents can happen when riders are acting responsibly, but the risk increases with horseplay. Neither children nor adults should sit on an escalator, and no one should go in the opposite direction. Jumping is always a bad idea.

We'll have more tips in our next post.

Source: The Star, "4 simple rules for your kid's safety around escalators, playgrounds and cars - Features," Lee Mei Li, Aug. 15, 2014

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