Summer Safety

Rebecca Harris, Early Education Writer   •   June 27, 2018

Warmer weather means sprinkler fun, swimming pools and outside family time! However, extra precautions need to be taken to make sure our kids stay safe outdoors. Summertime can be hazardous because of the heat, intense sun, insects and increased time spent outside. There are key ways to make sure summertime fun stays safe for everyone.

The first step is the easiest of all: Stay hydrated! The best way to make sure everyone stays healthy is to replenish the essential water that's lost from our bodies while playing in the heat. Depending on how active your kids are, it varies how often they should be taking water breaks. Most kids will drink water when it's available, but they sometimes forget to take water breaks when they're having fun. Encouraging hydration every 15 to 30 minutes ensures everyone stays energized and ready for more.
The second step is keeping everyone lathered in sunscreen and insect repellent.  While being in the sun is great, it can cause skin damage that has the potential to last a lifetime. Bugs are also in full force during the summer. Repellent can help prevent itchy bites and allergic reactions. Make sure to reapply throughout the day to protect your skin.

Heat stroke can happen to anyone, so being in the heat in moderation can solve many summer problems. Take time for some much-needed shade or AC between picnics and the swimming pool. Cars are the worst culprits of causing heat strokes in young children, as the temperature in a sitting car can become blistering within minutes. Children are harmed every summer by being accidentally left in cars. Be proactive about remembering your child by leaving something essential next to them in the back seat like your purse, briefcase or phone. This is especially important when you are driving your child out of routine.

It's important to remember that accidents happen with all the extra outdoor time.   Having basic CPR and first aid training can be the difference in maintaining the safety of your child and others around you. There are plenty of resources to help prepare you for any surprise problem. The Red Cross has physical classes you can attend to practice with a professional, and there are also online classes that will show you the steps to take in an emergency. If you expect your child's caregiver to be certified in safety training, isn't it a good idea for you to be as well? The more people that can protect your child in a safety situation, the better. Summer is great for lots of outdoor family time. Taking a few extra precautions to make sure our kids are safe while having a blast will give all the adults some peace of mind.