Summer is right around the corner and I, for one, could not be more excited to have some fun in the sun. From swimming to evening bike rides, there is so much to look forward to. With all this fun in mind, my thoughts have also turned to what I can do as a parent to keep my son safe during our summer activities.
Here are a few safety tips to keep in mind as you are preparing for summer fun with your children:
1. Water Safety Tips
According to the CDC, more children aged 1-4 die from drowning than any other cause of death aside from birth defects. Drowning is the second leading cause of unintentional injury death in children aged 1-14. Drowning is a serious issue, and oftentimes is preventable by following these tips.
- When a child is expected to be in or near water, constant, attentive supervision is the best way to prevent drowning.
- If you are with friends or neighbors, assign someone to be a water watcher. Put away the phone or any other distractions aside and give your complete attention to the children playing in or near the water.
- Swimming lessons are a great way to teach children about water safety. Look for lessons that teach children how to get out if they unexpectedly end up in the water. Swimming lessons can be very beneficial to children. Swimming lessons can reduce drowning risk for all children.
2. Be Aware of Heat Exhaustion
Cases of heat exhaustion and stroke rise during the summer months. Here are a few tips to help prevent your children from overheating.
- Take frequent water breaks to stay hydrated.
- Plan outdoor activities in the early morning and evening as much as possible.
- Look for shaded outdoor areas to cool off in.
- Learn about the signs of heat exhaustion.
3. Skin Protection
Between increased sun exposure and bug bites, summertime can be a rough time for kids skin. There are some precautions to keep in mind that can save your kids (and yourself) from skin damage.
- Choose a sunscreen that is at least 30 SPF, water resistant, and is labeled “broad spectrum.”
- Apply insect repellent containing DEET, but the lowest amount possible (under 30%). Never use insect repellent for children younger than 2 months old.
- Dress your child in long pants when in areas you know your child will be exposed to insects and check for ticks post-activity.
4. Safety Measures
Using the proper gear can help protect children from unintentional accidents.
- Ensure your kids wear a properly fitting helmet when riding a bike. You can use these steps to measure proper fit.
- Children and infants should always wear a lifejacket when riding in a boat or other motorized water vehicle.
- Do a thorough inspection of your yard, such as seeing if window-well covers should be installed or resolving other potential hazards for your children while playing outside.
Following these summer safety tips can help you and your family have a fun and safe summer!