Summer is all about fun, but it should also be about safety. Nothing means more to you than your child and their health, so taking precautions to keep them safe this summer is a top priority. Below are 10 tips that will help you keep your children safe while enjoying the sun and fun this summer. Thanks to Sean Morris of learnfit.org for this contribution!
10 Ways to Keep Your Child Safe
- Check their sports equipment for any problems. Has their bike been well-maintained? Have they outgrown it? What about other gear like athletic padding, helmets, or inline skates?
- Keep your child hydrated. Often children are having so much fun that they forget to stop and rehydrate when they’re involved in activities. Be sure to make them take a water break every 15 -20 minutes or so. Remember that once a child is thirsty, they are already dehydrated.
- Think about ticks. There are different illnesses that can be caught by ticks, including Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, and Lyme disease, so your child needs to be protected. Try to dress them in long pants and long sleeves, use tick/bug repellant, try keep them away from overgrown areas, and encourage them not to sit on the ground. Check for ticks every day, be aware of signs and symptoms of tick bites, and call your doctor if you have any questions.
- Be concerned about water safety. Children can drown in water of any depth. They need to be supervised at all times when they are in or around water. Teach them about rip tides in the ocean, and be sure they always wear a properly fitted life jacket on boats.
- Take precautions to prevent sunburn. If possible, minimize the time your child spends in the sun between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. Apply SPF 15 sunscreen with UVA and UVB protection to all exposed areas of skin about 30 minutes prior to heading outside.
- Apply bug repellant. The Zika virus and West Nile virus are transmitted by mosquitoes. Use EPA-registered bug repellant to help prevent them from biting your child. Also, keep in mind that the mosquito that spreads Zika is out mostly during daytime hours. Try to dress your child in long-sleeved shirts and pants when possible. Use air conditioning whenever it’s available rather than opening doors and windows, and be sure screens in doors and windows have no holes.
- Make them wear a helmet! Children have accidents when they’re riding their bikes, and it is easy for them to fall and get a head injury. There is the possibility of brain damage and even death with head injuries—so tell them to keep their helmet on.
- Look out for poison oak, ivy, and sumac. Find out what each look like, so you and your child can avoid them. It’s actually the oil from the leaves that may cause a skin reaction. You may want to consider dressing your child in protective clothing to prevent exposure to these plants. Also, avoid any overgrown or bushy areas where these plants may live.
- Get plenty of rest. Summer can be an action- and activity-packed time of the year for your kids. To defend against meltdowns due to overly tired kids, make sure yours are getting plenty of sleep during the summer months. If possible, try not to let them sway from their school year bed times and encourage an afternoon nap whenever possible. When they’re well-rested they’ll feel better mentally and physically, and as a result, the entire family will be a lot happier.
- Stop electronic aggression and cyber bullying. Some kids threaten, harass, and embarrass others online, especially their peers. Monitor your child’s electronic devices to see if they’re being bullied, or if they’re bullying or acting aggressively towards others.
Sean Morris became a stay-at-home dad after the birth of his son. Though he loved his career in social work, he couldn’t pass up the opportunity to get to spend more time with his kids. He enjoys sharing his experiences via LearnFit.org and hopes writing for the site will help him provide other parents with tips and advice on juggling life, career, and family.
Image via Pixabay by cocoparisienne