Keeping Kids Safe in the Summer

From beach vacations to backyard ballgames, summertime is filled with memories in the making. Ensure positive
experiences by following these summertime safety tips.

Sun smarts

It takes only a few serious sunburns to increase a child’s risk of skin cancer later in life. For the most fun in the sun,
follow these sun-safety tips from Caring for Kids:

  • Apply sunscreen. Make sure it has at least SPF 30 and UVA/UVB protection. Apply 30 minutes before heading outside. Re-apply frequently, as directed. Use a lip balm with SPF 15.
  • Cover up the kids. Put a hat and sunglasses on the kids. Cover arms and legs with long-sleeved shirts, pants, and skirts, if possible. Look for clothes with built-in SPF.
  • Find some shade. Have the kids hang out under a tree, umbrella, or another shady place, especially when the sun is the strongest, between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
  • Follow these rules on cloudy days. Sunburns happen on gray days, too! Don’t relax your sun-safety regimen just because it’s gloomy outside.

Water safety

Pool parties, beach vacations, and lazy days at the lake — summer, and water seem to go together. Sadly, accidental drowning is the leading cause of injury death for children ages 1 to 14. That’s why everyone needs to follow these safety tips from the Canadian Lifesaving Society:

  • Be aware. An adult should always be supervising a child around water. This person should avoid all distractions, such as checking the phone, reading a book or drinking alcohol.
  • Be prepared. Always have a cell phone, first aid kit, lifejackets or PFDs, and reaching/throwing equipment on hand.
  • Be vigilant at vacation homes. Many drownings happen at home pools during non-swim times. If you’re visiting a residence with a pool, make sure there’s an appropriate barrier around the pool. Keep kids at arm’s length even when you’re not around the pool. If a child goes missing, check the pool first.
  • Insist on life jackets. Have young children or inexperienced swimmers wear lifejackets or PFDs. And everyone, including adults, should wear life jackets when boating.
  • Look for lifeguards. Make sure your children swim in areas where lifeguards are on duty.

Cool kids

As the temperature rises, so does the risk of heat-related illnesses. Here’s how you can fend off the heat:

  • Have kids take breaks and drink plenty of fluids. This is especially important when playing a sport or being physically active.
  • Know the signs of heat-related illness. Take action if your child exhibits extremely high body temperature, headache, rapid pulse, dizziness, nausea, confusion, or unconsciousness.
  • Never leave a child unattended in a car. Even if a window is cracked, the temperature in a car rises quickly, and a child’s body temperature rises faster than an adult’s.

Backyard basics

Getting outside is good for a child’s health and well-being. To ensure they stay safe, take the following precautions in your backyard and beyond:

  • Cook out with care. Keep kids away from grills when cooking out.
  • Jump out of harm’s way. If you have a trampoline, follow the manufacturer’s instructions regarding weight, age and capacity.
  • Play it safe. Make sure a play structure has soft material under it. Follow playground rules. Use playground equipment that’s right for a child’s age.
  • Put on a helmet. A child should wear a helmet when riding anything with wheels.
  • Use bug spray. The most effective repellents contain DEET.

Take advantage of the joys of summer

Summer can be magical for both kids and adults. Follow these simple guidelines to stay safe and healthy, and you’ll be making happy summer memories for years to come.

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