The weather is warm, the days are long, and school is no longer in session. These are the most fun-packed months of the year for many children. There’s more time than ever to play outside and enjoy activities like swimming, bike riding and more.
However, summer also presents some unique safety hazards that people of all ages should be aware of and take steps to avoid. To ensure your kids have as much fun as they can while avoiding injuries, illness, and discomfort, consider the following must-know summer safety tips.
1. Apply waterproof sunscreen often or stay in the shade between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. Make sure your fun in the sun doesn’t turn into a nasty burn by avoiding sunlight during the time of day when it’s at its strongest and putting on sunblock if you can’t avoid the sunshine, Parents.com advises in the article “10 Rules for Summer Safety.”
For babies who are 6 months old and up, make sure you apply sunscreen that is at least SPF 15 (preferably SPF 30 or higher) and guards against UVA and UVB rays. Put it on at least 30 minutes before you head outside and reapply at two-hour intervals. If you have a baby under 6 months of age, Parents.com recommends keeping them in the shade if possible and putting minimal amounts of sunblock on exposed skin if you can’t avoid the sun.
2. Remember the bug spray. The warm weather unfortunately brings biting insects like ticks and mosquitos with it. To avoid itchy bites and illnesses like West Nile virus, Zika and Lyme disease, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend using insect repellant when you’re outdoors.
3. Drink plenty of water. While getting fresh air and exercise is good for people of all ages, it’s important to take steps to avoid heat exhaustion if you’re going to do any sort of intense activity outside in the summer. One option is to do any demanding exercise during cooler times of day (evenings or early mornings), according to the WebMD article “Summer Safety for You and Your Kids.”
If you’re active outside at any time (but especially during the brightest and hottest hours), be sure to carry a water bottle and stay hydrated. Cold water and sports drinks are ideal, and you should remember to drink before, during and after exercise.
4. Keep kids and pets away from the grill. One of the best parts of summer for many of us is cooking outside. However, you should be sure to stay safe while you’re firing up the grill. Designate a danger zone of up to three feet around the grill that kids and pets know to stay out of, Safe Kids Worldwide advises in the article “Let the Summer Fun Begin.” You should also keep matches and lighters away from children and teach your kids not to play with them.
5. Don’t let children play in the water unsupervised. Swimming is a fun way to exercise and develop gross motor skills. A parent or other guardian should always watch kids when they’re in or near the water, though, according to Safe Kids Worldwide. Additionally, let your children know that bodies of water like lakes and oceans are different from swimming pools. They should be aware of hazards like currents, undertow, and shifts in the weather.
6. Make sure your kids can identify poison plants. Time spent in nature can be beneficial for your physical and mental health – but only if you avoid contact with plants like poison ivy, poison sumac, and poison oak. Teach your children what these plants look like (“leaflets of three, beware of me”) so they can avoid getting a rash, WebMD states. If you or your kids do accidentally touch a poison plant, wash with soap and water as soon as you can to minimize the damage and keep it from spreading.
If you’d like to learn more about safety tips for kids during the summer or any other season, feel free to reach out to our team of pediatric professionals. We’re dedicated to improving the lives of children of all ages one step at a time through comprehensive and compassionate care. Contact us today by calling 847-707-6744 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.