Children always look forward to summer. School is out and there are all kinds of summer activities going on. Camping, swimming, and bike riding are just a few things kids get amped up about. Parents and caregivers are excited too. However, there is more than just being excited to do fun stuff, there are some hidden dangers that we all need to be aware of. These are 8 safety tips for kids this summer.
We all want our kids to have a fantastic and fun summer, of course. More importantly, we want them to be safe during all their summer adventures. It really doesn’t take much to keep kids safe, mostly it is just paying attention. Here are 8 safety tips for kids this summer to ensure their break is fun and incident free.
- Bites & Stings
Summertime is perfect to spend outdoors. Camping, fishing, or swimming are all popular with kids and adults alike. The outdoor activities do hold some risk though. Insects, spiders, and snakes are a part of nature and being educated about them is important. First, insect repellant is a must due to the disease spreading capability of mosquitos. Center for Disease Control recommends repellents that contain picaridin, or lemon oil and eucalyptus for a non-toxic insect control.
Prevention is much easier than treatment, but if the kids do suffer from a bite or sting there are ways to take care of it. First, find out what it was from and then use the right treatment. Most bites and stings can be treated with an ice pack to reduce swelling, a baking soda paste, and over the counter anti-itch creams. If the bite is open, keep it covered and medicated and always seek medical attention for fever and severe pain and redness.
- Pool Awareness
It is no secret that kids and adults love the pool in the summer. It is a great way to cool down, have fun, and get some exercise. But, we have to be vigilant about pool safety while we have our time in the water. Don’t run around the pool to avoid slipping or falling. Parents also need to be available at all times that children are in or around the pool.
The little ones may know how to swim, but aren’t always the strongest swimmers if they get to the deep end. Sadly, there are many injuries and deaths because of inattention. A latched gate is a smart move to be sure wandering kids don’t make it to the pool unattended. Being aware is the best way to avoid any bad things from happening and ensure that pool time is a fabulous time for everyone!
- Playground Activity
The playground is full of super fun equipment and when used properly can provide hours of play time. But, be sure to keep the kids safe here too.
Check equipment for faults like protruding nails or weak boards before the children begin climbing, running, and swinging. Be sure that kids are wearing play clothes with no hanging strings or anything that could be snagged on the playground. And, always teach kids about “Stranger Danger.” If they do not know someone that approaches them, don’t talk to them. If they feel threatened they should yell to attract attention from everyone around. This will deter any unwanted visitors from coming around.
- Food Facts
Picnics, BBQs, and snacks are a huge part of summer. The outdoor meals are great social gatherings and a lot of fun. There are dangers that we need to be aware of here, however.
Foods with milk, eggs, mayonnaise, or meat need to be kept in a cooler to avoid spoiling and causing bacterial growth that leads to tummy trouble. Properly washing fresh fruits and veggies helps to eliminate consumption of any harmful bacteria or chemicals. If there is alcohol available, be positive it is out of reach of the kids. We all know children are curious little creatures and that is a can a worms we do not want to open!
- Beat the Heat
Here in New Mexico, we know how hot it can get. We also know how dangerous that heat can be and how easily it can sneak up on anyone. Plenty of water is essential during the summer months especially. Keep water, sports drinks, and rehydration drinks available all the time for kids. Staying well hydrated helps to prevent heat related illnesses. Stay in cool air conditioned buildings or shaded areas during the hottest part of the day.
Heat exhaustion is dangerous and thirst, tiredness, and muscle cramping are all signs of a problem. It is important to avoid heat exhaustion because it can lead to heat stroke which is truly serious and often leads to hospitalization. Children are more susceptible because their bodies can’t regulate temperature as well as an adult. Simple steps to stay safe; stay hydrated, stay cool, and don’t over exhaust.
- Ticks (Ugh!)
So, this isn’t the most pleasant subject, but it needs to be addressed. Kids love to play outdoors and roll around in the grass or play down at the creek. No matter what part of the country, ticks are an issue to be aware of. The best way to stay safe from tick bites that cause illness is prevention. Ticks like grassy or highly wooded areas. Avoid these areas the best way possible, but we know kids will be kids.
When they head to play, make sure they wear light color clothes to keep the body cool. It also helps to spot the unwanted hitchhikers if they do grab hold. Insist the kids wear pants and despite their groans, tuck the pant legs into their socks. While playing outside, do regular tick checks to keep ticks from coming home for supper.
- Sun Safety
Again, here in New Mexico, we get plenty of sunshine, bright, warm, beautiful sunshine! The sunsets in the south are out of this world, but those sun rays are pretty abusive too. Anywhere those kids are playing, they need to be protected from the sun, as well.
It is recommended to use sunscreens that have UVA and UVB protective qualities and used on a daily basis. When the kids, and adults, are playing outside, in the pool, on the beach, or wherever, sunscreen lotion should worm. The sunscreen lotions may state that they last through sweat, water, sand, wind, and high temperatures, but it is still important to reapply regularly and often.
When used with repellent, apply sunscreen first. Hats, sleeved shirts, sunglasses, or beach dresses are a few other ways to protect against the sun in addition to sunscreen.
- Bicycle Caution
While I was growing up, I don’t recall wearing a helmet when I rode my bike. On that same topic, I don’t remember my first wreck either because I was helmetless. Wearing a proper helmet when riding a bicycle is important and crucial for all ages.
My nieces love to ride their bikes and we received some children’s and adult’s bike helmets from Bell. They are available at Walmart and Target and come in a wide variety of styles. My nieces, of course, love the movie “Frozen.” So, as no surprise, when I left the choice to them, Olaf won hands down. They offer characters from movies like Olaf from “Frozen” and also Lightning McQueen from “Cars” and some “Star Wars” character helmets.
They even have Minnie Mouse for you classic fans. The adult helmets are just as fun, functional, and comfortable. Finding a helmet that fits correctly, made of a lightweight material, and is durable are 3 important things to look for.
I ride a scooter around the block with the girls and it’s just as crucial that I wear a helmet as that they do. Bell bicycle helmets for adults are sleek, fashionable, light and very protective. I love that my helmet is the same color and design as one of the children’s helmets. It is comfortable and fits me perfectly and as clumsy as I am, it comes it very handy!
Summer is such a great time for kids and adults alike. There is so much to do indoors and outdoors. The pool, camping, playgrounds, fishing, riding bikes, and so many other activities fill the summer days. Summer break can be a great time to build memories, but we do have to be careful and prepared for the possible dangers. Sunburns, pool awareness and bike safety, among other troubles, are important to remember and prepare for. Prevention is the best and most effective protection against all summer time ailments. Be informed, be prepared, be prevantative, be vigilant, and be aware! Go out and have one amazing summer, I know we will!
What other tips do you have for summer time woe prevention? Do you have some home remedies for sunburns or bites? Comment below and share, we love to hear what you have to say!
Are you moving this spring or summer? Be sure you have all the right tips to make sure everyone is safe and nothing gets left behind.
This post was made possible by Tern Bicycle Helmets and written by me. All statements and opinions are 100% my own.