It’s summer and that means the kids will be playing outdoors. That means it's important to keep kids safe while they're having fun. Keep a safety checklist on your fridge or family bulletin board as a reminder of ways to keep your kids safe and prevent injuries or accidents from interfering on your family's summer fun.
Here are some great tips to keep in mind for kids' safety.
1. Practice Summer Sun Safety
Sunscreen plays an important role when it comes to protecting your kids from the sun. But sunscreen is just one of the ways to guard against the sun's damaging rays. Hats and sunglasses also play an important role in preventing UV damage.
- It can certainly be challenging to remember to apply sunscreen at least 30 minutes before going outdoors. Up to 80 percent of the sun's UV rays can penetrate the skin, even on cloudy days.
- Use generous amounts of UVA- and UVB-blocking sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15 and reapply every two hours or more often after swimming or sweating.
Use Sun-Protective Clothing
- Dress your kids in hats in wide brims and tightly woven cotton. Try to stay out of the sun between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., when the sun is at its most intense peak, and try to stay in the shade as much as possible.
Wear Some Cool Shades
- Don't forget your child's eyes. Look for kids' sunglasses that block 99 to 100 percent of UVA and UVB rays. Research has shown that inexpensive sunglasses that are labeled as protective for UVA and UVB are effective in blocking the sun's harmful rays.
2. Protect Against Bugs
Bugs and summer go together. But insects, such as potentially disease-carrying mosquitoes and bees, can also be harmful to kids.
- Use insect repellents to guard against ticks, which can carry Lyme Disease, and mosquitoes, which can carry the West Nile Virus and other viruses.
- Wear long sleeve shirts and long pants when going outside, particularly at dusk when mosquitoes are more likely to be present.
- Never leave stagnant pools of water around the house.
- Avoid using scented soaps or perfumes on your child.
3. Prevent Dehydration
Your child should drink water before exercise and during breaks, which should be about every 15 to 20 minutes. On particularly hot and humid days, it's also a good idea for parents to spray down kids with some water from a spray bottle.
4. Don't Forget Helmets
Your child should wear a helmet whenever she is on anything with wheels, such as a scooter, bicycle, or roller skates.
5. Practice Food Safety
Foodborne illnesses increase in the summer because bacteria grow faster in warmer temperatures and humidity. More people are eating and preparing food outdoors, at picnics and barbecues, where refrigeration and places to wash hands are not readily available.
To prevent foodborne illnesses:
- Be sure to wash your hands before preparing or serving any food.
- Never cross-contaminate.
- Consider the temperature. Use a thermometer and be sure to cook all meat and poultry to the correct temperatures to kill any harmful bacteria. Keep all perishable foods in the refrigerator and do not keep leftovers unrefrigerated for more than one or two hours.
6. Guard Against Drowning
Each year, children ages 14 and under die as a result of accidental drowning, and children are injured in near-drowning incidents. If you have a swimming pool or if your child will be near one, it is crucial to put multiple safety measures in place to keep kids safe.
To prevent drowning tragedies:
- Put barriers around the pool to restrict access.
- Never leave kids unsupervised.
- Remember that drownings can happen silently.
- Do not use flotation devices.
- Learn CPR.
- Learn about the dangers of secondary drowning.
- Do not assume that a teen or relative will be watching.
7. Avoid Trampoline Danger
Over 90,000 emergency-room visits were related to trampoline injuries. Never let more than one child use the trampoline at a time.
- Do not let kids do somersaults.
- Do not allow kids younger than 6 play on a full-sized trampoline.
- Move the trampoline away from other structures or play areas.
8. Warn Kids About Hiding in Enclosed Spaces
Teach children to never play hide and seek by crawling inside an enclosed space such as a car trunk, chest, or old cooler or appliance.
9. Use Caution When Doing Yardwork
Never allow children to ride on lawnmowers or to play near motorized lawn equipment. Do not allow children under age 12 to operate push mowers and do not allow children younger than 16 to operate ride-on lawnmowers.
10. Safeguard Home Playgrounds
If you have a backyard playground or play equipment, make sure the ground beneath the equipment is soft enough. Surfaces made of concrete, asphalt or dirt are too hard and do not absorb enough impact in the event of a fall. Instead, the CPSC recommends using at least 9 inches of mulch or wood chips.
T's Learning Center love for our toddlers and preschoolers to be outdoors often to play and explore! We love hearing our young ones talk about the family adventures they take in Jacksonville and St. Augustine too! Now that we’ve shared some of our summer safety tips with you, we hope you and your family have a wonderful, exciting and SAFE summer.