Summer is filled with opportunities for good, old fashioned fun. For every adventure awaiting your daughter or son in the great outdoors, there are important safety measures for parents to keep in mind.
While it’s impossible to child-proof every outdoor activity, we hope you’ll take the following precautions during the warm weather months so that safety is top-of-mind for your family this summer:
Leave Pyrotechnics to the Pros
Even small fireworks like sparklers pose a huge threat to your child’s well-being. Sparklers can exceed temperatures of 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit, and young children are at higher risk for burns because their skin is thinner than adults. In fact, children 5 to 9 years old have the highest injury rate. If fireworks will be part of your Fourth of July celebrations, be sure to read these fireworks safety tips.
Know Your Child’s Surroundings
Adult supervision is always best, but it’s impossible for parents to supervise 24-7 so inspect all outdoor play equipment and play areas before your child takes the first leap. Trampolines should have safety nets and the number of kids playing on them at once should be limited. Check playgrounds for dangers like sharp objects, hard surfaces and slides that may be too hot from the sun for exposed skin. Before activities in or around the water, make sure your child is familiar with pool safety rules. Drowning and other life-threatening accidents can happen in as little as a couple inches of water.
Review Your Family’s Safety Plans
If your summer activity plans include family trips to amusement parks, the zoo or other public places, remember to review what your child should do if he or she were to become separated from you. Talk to your kids about stranger rules and how to spot a safe adult if they get lost. Be sure your child knows your cell phone number or carries it with them. If your child is too young to memorize it, try to find a creative solution – for instance, we love these easy-to-make phone number bracelets.
Make Safety a Priority
Set a good example. Practice safety precautions yourself to keep your whole family safe and reinforce the importance of the precautions you’re asking your kids to take. Do the everyday things right alongside your kids: Wear bicycle helmets when riding bikes or scooters. Wear personal flotation devices (life jackets) when boating or participating in water sports. Apply sunscreen with SPF of at least 30 any time you or your child will be outside for more than 15 minutes. Each time you choose safety, your kids become more likely to do the same when the decision is theirs to make on their own.
Editor’s Note: Information included this blog post was originally published in the Summer 2015 edition of Young and Healthy. Follow the links to read the full issue and find more summer safety tips.
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