Summer Safety Tips for Children

For most families, summer means spending more free time outdoors, but for children, summer presents many safety risks. Use these tips to keep kids safe from the top ten summer safety risks.

1. Head Injuries
Activities such as skating, biking and skateboarding require proper protective gear. Children should wear a helmet to prevent head injuries when performing these activities, including using skate shoes. Knee and elbow pads are also effective precautions against injury.

2. Dehydration
Vigorous outdoor play can quickly lead to dehydration. Check on kids throughout the day and serve them cool beverages and cooling, hydrating snacks such as popsicles and fresh fruit.

3. Hot Cars
Kids playing in cars or left unattended in a hot car can quickly suffer severe medical consequences. Keep your car locked and teach kids not to play in the car or go to the car without permission. Make it a habit to always look in the backseat of your car to double check that a child is not left behind.

4. Poison Ivy, Sumac and Oak Plants
Adventurous children may be oblivious to the presence of poison ivy and other hazardous plants. Take measures to eliminate these plants in and near your yard. Teach kids to recognize these plants and avoid contact with the rash-inducing plants. Check out this article to learn how to recognize the symptoms of poison ivy.

5. Cuts, Abrasions and Infection
The carefree frolicking typical of a summer day often leads to scrape, bump or fall. Keep a basic first aid kit handy to properly clean and cover wounds to prevent infections. Neosporin offers a portable spray antiseptic, Neo to Go, that clips on to a key ring.

6. Outdoor Grills
The grilling season is in full swing during summer. Outdoor grills present a hazard to children because a hot grill and a cold grill usually look the same. Set up the grill away from walkways and teach children to stay away from the grill at all times.

7. Hunger and Malnutrition
Without the stability of a school cafeteria, some children do not receive regular meals during the summer vacation. Relying on convenience foods and mindlessly munching on junk foods can also cause malnutrition and weight gain. Check your community for local programs such as day camps that serve free or affordable meals to children. Plan meals carefully to include the proper nutrients and calories required for a growing child. The American Heart Association offers dietary guidelines for children.

8. Fireworks
Playing with fire is never a wise choice, but kids are particularly drawn to fireworks. Keep fireworks away from children and explain the risks to them. When allowing older kids to use sparklers, provide supervision and keep a bucket of water nearby. Here are ten safety tips for celebrating with kids and fireworks.

9. Swimming Pools
Unsupervised pools seem to be a beacon to children, especially if they want to retrieve a toy floating in the pool. Teaching children pool safety, offering proper supervision and installing secure fencing around pools will help decrease the risk of accidents. Check the Consumer Product Safety Commission website for additional tips and information.

10. Sunburn
Children’s skin is more delicate and susceptible to sunburn. Applying sunscreen is an effective precaution, however, it is important to apply sunscreen properly. Try these tips to properly apply sunscreen to your child.

Simple precautions, education and common sense will help your child enjoy summer vacation and outdoor activities without encountering the common pitfalls.