Summer is officially here and kids all over the place are out of school, or soon to be, and excited to get out and enjoy the weather. Most of us begin the summer with an eager attitude, usually before the boredom sets in and you’re left anxiously awaiting for the new school year. No matter if you are enjoying a staycation or a vacation this summer, every parent needs to keep summer safety tips in mind to keep little and big kids alike safe and healthy.
1. Sun and Heat Safety
- Don’t leave home without lathering up in sunscreen SPF 15 or higher at least 20 minutes before sun exposure to protect from harmful sunburn causing UV rays. Sunscreen is just as important on cloudy days or under the shade of an umbrella by the pool where the sun peeking through the clouds or the reflection off the water can burn. Remember to reapply sunscreen after periods of activity or after swimming and to avoid peak sun exposure periods of the day whenever possible.
- Wear sunglasses. Sunglasses are available for the smallest of children; eyes need protection against damaging UV rays to prevent future eye damage.
- Keep hydrated and wear a hat to protect against overheating. Heat stroke comes on silently and can be painful and serious, especially in children.
- Wear light coloured clothing to prevent overheating and sunburns.
2. Water Safety
Whether you’re at the lake, at home by a pool or on a stroll at the river, water safety should be a top priority. Kids can drown in a matter of minutes. Kids should always have adult supervision and proper safety measures in place while in or around water. Life jackets and water wings are great safety assists but parents or caregivers should always be at arms reach. Older kids should also be watched; not all kids are strong swimmers or other factors may cause water safety concerns. It doesn’t hurt to put your child(ren) in swimming classes at the local outdoor pool this summer; most cities or communities offer a summer program.
3. Insect Safety
Apply insect repellent whenever you are headed outside. Mosquitoes and Ticks carry viruses that can make people extremely ill and result in further health care treatment or, in rare cases, can cause permanent health issues or damage.
- Look for an insect repellent containing deet. Deet is one of the most effective ingredients for repellent. In higher concentrations deet should be avoided for younger children and repellent should avoided altogether in children younger than 2 months.
- Wear clothing to cover exposed skin. Long sleeves and pants are recommended at times when insects are at their highest, such as night time or cooler days.
- For infants, cover the stroller, play pen or chair with netting to keep insects from biting.
- After outings thoroughly check for ticks. Ticks like to hide in warm hiding spots and take a little while before burrowing in, giving you time to remove them.
4. Food Safety
During the summer months we are busy entertaining and enjoying more meals outdoors. The warmer temperatures in summer months make the perfect breeding ground for bacteria. Always ensure your raw foods are properly prepared and kept at the right temperatures to avoid food poisoning and illness.
5. Play Safety
- With warm summer weather comes active people everywhere. Educating your children about general safety rules that you want them to follow, especially at busy times of year when accident rates are higher.
- Remind your kids of road safety laws and instruct them to wear helmets and protective gear when riding bicycles, skateboards or other outdoor activity products to avoid accidents.
I admit when my older kids were smaller I was a bit overprotective, I wouldn’t go as far to say a bubble-wrap mom but protective nonetheless. Since then I have lightened up a bit but I still follow these 5 safety tips to ensure my kids stay as safe as within my control. With these 5 summer safety tips, you can be reassured your little ones will be safe and healthy for a long summer of fun.