Summer is here, and kids love spending time in the sunshine outdoors. While summer is associated with carefree days and freedom, it is important for parents to remember that there are some risks that accompany those beautiful days outside. As the temperatures begin to rise, you can use these strategies to keep your kids safe.
1. Stay Hydrated
The combination of high temperatures and increased physical activity make dehydration a serious threat to a child’s health. Make sure your child carries water with them as they participate in recreational activities, and encourage frequent hydration breaks. At home, serve water-filled foods such as watermelon and cucumbers along with an occasional frozen fruit bar to keep your kids cool.
2. Explore New Territory Together
Many childhood injuries occur when a kid ventures into dangerous areas outdoors. When visiting a new playground or recreational area, spend a few minutes touring the space to identify potential hazards such as broken glass. If you notice broken equipment or other hazards such as a wasp nest, then report it to the proper authorities. Additionally, check any signs that are posted to ensure your child falls within the recommended age guidelines for any play structures.
3. Practice Pedestrian Safety
Although you may have crossed the street with your child a thousand times, it is always possible for them to get so distracted by their play that they forget to look both ways. Spend a few minutes reviewing pedestrian safety rules before your child leaves your home. Reminding your child to walk and not run, use sidewalks whenever possible and to avoid running out between parked cars will ensure they know how to protect themselves from motorists.
4. Use Caution Around Water
Swimming lessons are essential for teaching kids how to stay safe in the water, yet it is also important to make sure your kid knows how to avoid water-related accidents. Kids should never be allowed to play near or in the water without adult supervision. If you live near a natural body of water such as a lake, then it is also important to remind kids to stay off of slippery surfaces that could cause them to fall in the water. Finally, make sure your kid knows to stay out of creek beds and other known flash flood zones.
5. Protect Their Skin
Sunburns are a painful way to learn the dangers of spending too much time in the sun, and even one serious burn puts your child at risk for developing skin cancer. Make sure your child applies sunscreen at least 30 minutes before going outside, and remind them to reapply it every two hours. Be sure they apply sunscreen to those hard-to-remember spots such as the tops of the ears and their scalp. It is also helpful to encourage kids to avoid direct sunlight during the peak hours of the day by playing in shaded areas.
When summer is in full swing, it is easy for kids to begin to loosen up on their safety rules. However, it only takes a few precautions to ensure that your kid’s summer is full of healthy fun. By talking about summer safety strategies such as watching out for cars and sunburns, your kid will learn valuable lessons that will ensure they enjoy many happy summers in the future.