Summer is here and there are so many fun things to do. But summer comes with things we need to keep everyone safe from. It’s important to teach children summer safety!
Yeah for warmer weather! The sun is shining, the birds are singing and we are spending more time outdoors. There are several things we need to remember, especially with kids .
1- Hydration– Kids will run and play until they fall over. Often they are too busy to stop for anything, much less some water. Set a timer to remind you to get them to take a water break. Every 30-45 minutes for a mild day, more frequently for a hotter day. Give them their own special water bottle. This not only helps them stay hydrated, but also teaches responsibility.
2- Sun protection– Sun burns are no fun! It is important to be proactive with sun protection, Theare many myths about sun protection, such as darker skin tones don’t burn or you can’t get burned on a cloudy day. Every skin tone or color needs sunscreen. I’ve often heard that “my chid only tans”. Well, tanning is another way of saying burning. Your skin has a memory and the UV rays do damage. It is important to protect that skin every time you are out doors
Don’t forget the face, scalp and feet! These are spots that are frequently forgotten or missed. There are sunscreen sticks that are perfect for the face. There are even sunscreens that are made specifically for hair and scalps or a hat will work! Feet in sandals need to be sprayed down too! Burnt feet hurt and make wearing shoes hard! (it’s hard enough to keep shoes on most kids!)
Shade is another sun protectant. If your child has a place to play, be sure that there is a space for shade. This can be trees, a small pop up tent or you can build a small area to get out of the sun.
3- Heat– Kids can overheat and not realize it. Keeping them hydrated helps, but there’s always a chance they can overexert themselves. Have them come in a take breaks. Besure to provide them with a shaded area to rest in. A small tent in the yard is a great way to create a safe place to rest and cool down.
Safety in The Great Outdoors
1- Pesky critters– Winter may be cold, but is causes the bugs to go away. They enjoy summer as much as our kids do! Make it a habit to spray bug spray AFTER the sunscreen has dried. There are some bug spray and sunscreen in one as well. It is important to check your child frequently for ticks or other bug bites that may need care.
2- Plants – Poison ivy, poison oak, thorns, tree limbs, etc. Every adventurous child encounters these while exporing the outdoor world. You don’t want to discourage them from experience all that nature has to offer, but it is important to teach child the ones to stay away from. Our little friends will also find berries and other products of plants that may look edible. Teach children that nothing should be eaten outside without a responsible adult checking it first.
You can also visit an online plant file to help identify plants that your child may come into contact with in your own yard!
3- Bikes, skates, scooters and more– Riding bikes and skating are two big summer time activities. It’s also two ways for kids to break bones and have other injuries. Before your child goes out to ride or skate, be sure to check their helmet and that it still fits correctly. Knee pads, elbow pads and gloves are important while skating. Knees and hands get scraped easily from falls.
Visits to the pool, creek, lake, river or ocean is a likely summer activity for most families. It’s also one of the most dangerous. Drowning is quick and fast. Be sure to teach your child important safety rules when they are around water.
Always swim with a buddy. You should never swim alone, even if you are a good swimmer.
Wear a life jackets whenever possible.
Do not assume someone else is watching your child. Not even if a lifeguard is on duty.
Water activities to alot of energy and are usually done in the sun. This can cause dehydration and exhaustion. Be sure to stay hydrated and take breaks.
Wear safe shoes such as water shoes or sandals with tread. Flip flops may be a popular choice, but are very slippery!
Water hoses sitting in the sun can spray out very hot water. It is important to start the hose away from people until all the hot water has passed through. Children can easily be burned by the hot water and very quickly.
Read all posted signs before starting your water activities. Know what the rules are and any hazards you should be aware of.
Summer is fun!
Summer is the best time in a child’s life. You only get 18 summers until they are all grown up ! Enjoy each and every one of those summers, but stay safe!