Summer Safety 101
As summer quickly approaches, kids (and parents too!) want to spend as much time as possible outdoors. Whether it’s at the beach, in the pool or on the playground, you can’t forget to pack some summer safety tips before you go. You can still have fun in the sun while staying safe.
We all know kids love running around outside. They aren’t necessarily thinking about how the heat can affect them. When the mercury rises we all need to take some extra precautions and follow summer safety tips.
- Drink Plenty of Water. While this may seem like a no-brainer, one of the most important summer heat safety tips is to drink water. Don’t give your child a juice box. Give kids water. Water is the best choice because as you sweat you’re losing fluids and they needs to be replenished. Not getting enough water can lead to dehydration and other problems. This can really be a downer on all that summer fun!
- Dress Kids in Loose-Fitting & Light-Colored Clothing. Dark colors attract the sun, so don’t put your kids in a tight black shirt and blue shorts. Instead, opt for a light-colored outfit that allows them to breathe a little! This will help them to avoid overheating.
- Don’t Leave Kids in the Car. This summer heat safety tip is a big one. Leaving kids in the car on a hot day—or any other day—is a big no-no. Statistics show on a sunny 70-degree day, the temperature inside the car can rise to 104 degrees in just 30 minutes. Even if you are just running into a store for five minutes, take children with you.
- Do Low Intensity Activities. If it’s hot for you, it’s hot for your child. Avoid letting your kids do intense activities like tag or races when the temperature rises. Save these for after dinner when temperatures start to drop.
The sun can be our best friend in the summer or turn into our worst enemy. Since kids’ skin is exceptionally fragile, keeping them safe in the sun is priority No. 1. Summer safety tips usually revolve around taking every precaution to ease the effects of the sun.
- Apply & Reapply Sunscreen. It’s important apply sunscreen 30 minutes before going out. The CDC recommends using sunscreen with at least SPF 15, but your pediatrician will likely recommend something higher. The so-called “forgotten” areas like the feet and ears should also be covered. Don’t forget to reapply every two hours, and if your child has been swimming or sweating a lot, reapply more frequently.
- Wear Hats. Having a hat on your child can help protect them from the sun’s harmful rays, and can also offer added protection to their ears and neck.
- Provide Shade. If you’re hitting the shore for the day, a beach umbrella can be a little hideaway when kids need to get out of the sun. For infants, you may want to pick up one of those cute baby beach tents.
The best way to cool off in the summer is to go for a swim. Kids and water can be a dangerous combination even if your child knows how to swim, so be sure to follow these summer safety tips when your child is near any body of water.
- Wear a Life Jacket. You’re probably familiar with the so-called “floaties” a lot of kids wear when they don’t know how to swim or are just learning. What you may not know, is that many of those are not recommended over life jackets, and The American Red Cross instead advises using U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets when kids are around water.
- Keep Your Eyes Open. Possibly the most important of all summer swimming safety tips: When your child is near the water always watch. Don’t rely on others to do it for you. It just takes one distraction to cause a disaster.
- Swim in Designated Areas. Only let your child swim in designated areas. But if you see there is no lifeguard on duty, you may not want to let your child swim there.
- Know the Depth of the Water. Many public pools mark the depth of water by area. If your child is not the best swimmer, keep them out of the deep end. If you’re in a friend’s pool, ask how deep it is before your kids go in.
When it comes to kids and pools you can never be too safe. According to the American Red Cross, over 200 young children drown in backyard swimming pools each year. That’s why you need to take a close look at the pool when you’re talking about summer safety tips and pool safety.
- Secure Your Pool. Many cities have zoning rules that designate barriers and certain gates that need to be put up around pools. This is crucial if you want to avoid kids accidentally getting hurt.
- Consider a Pool Alarm. If you have small kids around, you may want to consider installing a pool alarm to ensure summer pool safety. This will go off anytime someone enters the pool.
- Keep Your Pool Clean. Safety and cleanliness go hand in hand. Make sure all the chemical levels in your pool are correct. Rashes and more serious diseases can develop from dirty and unkempt pools.
While heat, sun and water are the biggies when you’re talking about summer safety tips, there are some other little things that shouldn’t be forgotten.
- Use Bug Spray. If your child is going to camp or just hanging out in the yard, it’s always a good idea to have bug spray around. Mosquitoes and other bugs like ticks can be pests during the summer.
- Don’t Get Distracted. This is a summer safety tip that can apply year-round. Don’t get distracted by your phone or anything else when your kids are outside. You need to have all hands and eyes on deck.
- Wear Helmets. Kids should always wear bike helmets. Wearing one can reduce head injuries if your child falls off or gets into an accident.
Ensure you and your family have fun in the sun all summer long by keeping these summer safety tips nearby and using our Summertime Safety Checklist.
Please note: The Bump and the materials and information it contains are not intended to, and do not constitute, medical or other health advice or diagnosis and should not be used as such. You should always consult with a qualified physician or health professional about your specific circumstances.
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