Summer is a fun and exciting time for children. Days on the lake, hours spent at the river, playing outside from sunup to sundown exploring the great outdoors, what’s not to love?
There’s no denying that there’s a lot of fun to be had during the summer, but there’s nothing like an accident or injury to ruin a good time. Here are some summer safety tips for kids that will help make sure that your family has a fun and safe summer.
Feeling the warm sunshine on your face is a wonderful feeling, and the sun provides us with ample amounts of vitamin D. That being said, too much sunshine can be dangerous. The sun emits both UVA and UVB radiation, both of which can damage the skin and cause health problems. Overexposure to the sun can result in heat exhaustion, sun burn, sun poisoning, skin cancer, permanent skin damage, and other issues. That’s why it’s so important to practice good sun safety during the summer.
- Make sure that you wear sun screen with a sun protective factor (SPF) of at least 15. Remember that the protective qualities of sun screen wear off over time, and you must reapply every so often. There will usually be a recommendation for how often you should reapply directly on the bottle of sun screen.
- It’s important to wear sun screen any time that you’re outside for an extended period. This is true even when it’s cloudy or if you’re spending most of your time in the water.
- In addition to sun screen, have your children wear sunglasses. Sunglasses aren’t just for looking cool, they also help protect your eyes from sun damage.
- Wide brim hats will also provide extra protection from the sun.
- Lip balm adds extra protection from the sun and can soothe chapped lips, which are common in hot conditions.
- We typically think of shorts and a tank top as hot weather apparel, but this isn’t the best option. Look for light-colored, lightweight, and loose-fitting shirts with long sleeves and pants, preferably with a high Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF). This type of clothing will help keep your body cooler, and they also provide extra protection from ultraviolet radiation.
- Be sure to get out of the sun every once in a while. Even if you can’t get indoors, take time to rest in the shade to avoid too much exposure to the sun.
- Avoid highly strenuous activities during the peak hours of heat. The greatest exposure to ultraviolet radiation takes place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. during the summer months.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 out of every 5 people who drown in the U.S. are under the age of 14, and for every child who drowns, another 5 require emergency care for nonfatal submersion injuries. Keep your children safe this summer.
- Young children, and children who are not strong swimmers, should wear life vests or flotation devices when in or around the water.
- Make sure that everyone in your family knows how to swim.
- Make a point to swim only in designated areas with a lifeguard on duty.
- Always check swimming areas for snakes, submerged rocks, currents, etc. before letting your child swim.
- Children should only swim under adult supervision.
Hydration is a different kind of water safety, but no less important. You need to drink more water during the hot summer months than you normally would, and so does a rambunctious child. A child running and playing in the heat of summer might not stop to get a drink when they are thirsty, so you must be sure to keep your child hydrated.
General outdoor play safety
Your kids are outside biking, playing on jungle gyms, and role playing pirate adventures. Can head injuries be far behind? Regardless of what your children are doing, make sure that they have the appropriate safety gear and are playing safely. This means that they should be wearing helmets while biking, and that they should not be doing back flips off the monkey bars.
If your family likes to get out and explore the outdoors – whether that’s day hiking around Northwest Arkansas, a weekend of camping in the Ozarks, or visiting one of our national parks – take some time to teach your children about safety in the outdoors
Being able to identify poisonous plants like poison ivy, poison oak, and poison sumac will help keep your children safe from rashes or allergic reactions.
Teach your children what to do if they come across a snake, how to identify places where snakes may be, and how to avoid them.
A bright blue berry looks delicious to a child, even if that berry may be toxic. Teach your children not to eat things that they find out in nature.