Simple Summer Safety Tips for Kids and Parents
For many kids, summer is their favorite time of year. The weather is warm, the sun is out and the possibilities are endless. But for parents, more time outdoors means navigating a different range of risks. With planning they are entirely manageable. Here's a rundown of hazards with tips for making sure they won't get in the way of your family's enjoyment of the great outdoors!
Being in the heat for prolonged periods of time, especially in direct sunlight, can lead to sunstroke. When the body’s temperature is too elevated and children become dehydrated, the consequences can be serious. They can become confused, sick and even pass out. Heat exhaustion is less dangerous than heat stroke, but best avoided nonetheless. Make sure your child is always in a well-ventilated area, with access to a space to cool down. Never leave children in locked cars. It may be advisable to seek out air conditioning during extreme heat waves.
Safety Around Water
With rising temperatures comes the need to cool off, and we often head to the water to do it. Whether it’s the beach, pool or a splash pad; don’t underestimate the potential danger in water. It’s not only children who can’t swim who are at risk. If kids play dangerous games together in or around water, or get stuck underwater, the situation can become critical very quickly. Especially if you’re not around to monitor the situation. Make sure there is always a lifeguard or adult present. It’s also advisable to keep your child in a manageable level of water for their abilities.
This can happen as a result of sunstroke but kids can also become dehydrated even if they are staying in the shade. We often think that keeping youngsters out of direct sunlight will be enough to combat dehydration. But, they can become water deprived anywhere, at any time. During the hot months, your little one is likely to sweat more. They will be engaging in vigorous activities, running around with friends, doing sports, exercise, and traveling around more in general. Send them out with a water bottle and stress the importance of drinking all of it.
Getting Lost and Meeting Strangers
With children being outdoors and wanting to explore, they can get themselves into uncertain situations. Sometimes they will wander off to places with which they’re unfamiliar. Especially if something interesting pops up and they don’t think before they go. Peer pressure is also a factor, and if all their friends are doing it, they might feel inclined to take part. This can lead to interacting with strangers. Warn your children never to go anywhere with a stranger, get into their vehicle or accept anything from them. Tell them to stick to public places or to check in with you first if they want to explore. If they decide that they want to go and check out a new place, have them take an older, trusted friend or family member.
Prime season for most bugs is when it’s hot and humid. You’re also more likely to go on vacation during summer break, so you may choose a destination where mosquitoes are an issue. Many tropical countries in Africa, South America and Asia still suffer from the threat of malaria. Although this disease can be treated, it can also be fatal if left untreated. Bees and wasps are also more common, especially with the increase in eating outside. Most people don’t suffer serious consequences from their stings, but some people are incredibly allergic. It’s better to be safe than sorry in these cases. Have your child use bug spray while they’re outside and wear longer clothing when bugs are more common. That would be during the day for wasps and in the evening and night for mosquitoes.
More outdoor time means more chances to eat outside. Between picnics and barbecues, children have ample opportunity to get sick. You can supervise your child at a barbecue by ensuring that their meat is fully cooked. No one wants to be an overbearing parent, but you can always cut up their meat before they eat it. It’s better that they avoid eating something dangerous than dealing with food poisoning. Plus, the person doing the cooking won't want to cause children to get sick, so they probably won’t mind you checking. Picnics pose less of a threat but they still involve eating food outdoors in the heat. Be sure to throw out any meat or dairy that has been in direct sunlight for a long period of time.