It’s official… school is out for the summer! Summer break is full of fun outdoor activities, trips to the pool, camps, and family vacations. While having fun, let’s remember to keep these important safety tips in mind:
Sun and Heat Safety Tips
To avoid heatstroke, heat exhaustion, cramps and sunburn that are caused by being out under the hot sun in high temperatures:
- Limit sun exposure by staying in the shade when possible
- Avoid being out in peak hours between 10AM and 4PM for too long
- Apply at least SPF15 or greater sunscreen, which will protect against UVA and UVB rays
- Re-Apply sunscreen every two hours and make sure to use enough (at least one ounce)
- When participating in physical activities with high heat or humidity drink plenty of fluids, such as water or a sports drink at least every 20 minutes
- Wear light colored and lightweight clothing
- Always check the backseat of the car when arriving at your destination and lock your car doors so children cannot enter or play in them. Of course, never leave your child alone in the car for any amount of time.
Water and Pool Safety
Whenever near water, whether at a park, beach or pool, always pay extra close attention to your children as it only takes a moment for a child to get into serious trouble.
- Avoid distractions like being on your cell phone
- Use a buddy system when going out in the water
- Children under 5 should always have an adult within an arm’s length
- Use approved life vests instead of inflatable floaties
- Don’t use a pool if it is missing or has broken drain covers as the suction can trap a swimmer underwater
- Be cautious with inflatable pools, they are easy for children to fall into when leaning against the side, so ensure your child does not have access when you are not there
- If you child is missing always look in the pool and water first
Animal and Insect Safety
Many insects and animals thrive in the summer and unfortunately also have the ability to cause irritation, disease and allergic reactions from their bites and stings.
- Don’t use scented soaps, perfumes or hairspray on your child
- Try not to dress your child in bright colors or flowery prints
- Use a separate insect repellant, use the recommended percent of DEET and never on children under 2 months of old.
- Avoid areas with stagnant water, uncovered food, and gardens full of flowers
- Repair any window screens that have holes in them
- Trim back bushes, plug holes, avoid firewood stacks and other debris near your home to avoid hiding places for snakes and other animals.
- Avoid areas with deer and other animals as they can carry ticks that carry Lyme disease.
- When out in the evening, cover up with long sleeves, pants and socks to prevent bites
- Children should wear hats when walking in the woods, high grass areas or near bushes.
- Check hair and skin for ticks at the end of the day
- Make sure playgrounds have a protective surface installed around all equipment
- Check to make sure there are no sharp edges, areas that might pinch or trap a child, or defects in any of the equipment, including extruding bolts.
- Never let children attach ropes or leashes to any type of playground equipment as this is a major choking hazard
- Trampolines are not recommended as most accidents and injuries occur when using it, rather than falling off, so netting gives a false sense of security. If using one, always have an adult supervising.
- Check that slides and other equipment are cool before using as the summer heat makes plastic and metal very hot
- Verify that spider webs, bee and wasp nests, and ant hills around and on the equipment are removed
Whether riding a bike, skateboard, roller blades, scooters or ATVs keep these tips in mind to avoid injuries:
- Always have your child wear proper footwear protective gear, including a helmet that meets approved safety standards.
- Avoid riding on the street and use designated paths, parks, or sidewalks
- Discourage your child from creating their own ramps or jumps
- Avoid riding near traffic areas and steep declines
- Children under eight years old should be supervised by an adult at all times
- Make sure your child is properly fitted for their bicycle and avoid getting one your child will grow into
- ATVs are not recommend for children under the age of 16 and account for 30% of all ATV-related deaths and emergency room visits.
- Children should not use 2 wheel motorized bikes until they are old enough to have a license for the vehicle
Have fun and stay safe this summer! Looking for a fun activity for your child this summer?