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The Best Summer Safety Tips For Parents

Posted on Wednesday, June 1, 2022
Summer days are made for kids, and swimming, biking, and sports are always the go-to activities of choice during warmer months. And thanks to the ability to work remotely, it's easier than ever for parents to get out of the house, get some work done, and enjoy some time in the sun.

But keeping children safe in the summer sun-and heat-requires some planning and extra attention, so parents need to make sure they know the best tips on keeping little ones free of sunburn and heat-related dangers. Here are the best ways to do so.

Keep protection on hand

Sunblock, hats, and bug spray are necessities in the summer, so make sure you keep them all on hand, especially when you head off on a beach excursion. You may even want to have a dedicated bag just for sunblock so it's always easily accessible! Remember to reapply sunblock often, especially when your child has been in the water for a while or has been perspiring. Sunglasses are also a good idea if your child will keep them on, as the sun's harmful rays can be a little much for little eyes, especially reflected off the ocean water.

Watch for heat exhaustion

Kids should stay hydrated at all times when playing outside, especially if it's a high-impact activity like a soccer game. Have them wear light-colored, breathable clothing and take breaks often to sit in the shade and grab a drink. Beach umbrellas, cabanas, or tents are a must! If any child shows signs of heat exhaustion-such as dizziness, headache, muscle cramps, vomiting or nausea, or confusion--take them to a cool area immediately and get them cool water to drink, remove excess clothing, and apply an ice pack or cool compress.

Assess your home

At the start of summer, it's a good idea to go around the house and look for any possible dangers to your little ones. If you have a swimming pool, make sure it is either covered or cannot be accessed by very young children. You should also consider putting a fence around your pool to protect not only your own children but other children in your neighborhood. A fence will also help prevent wildlife or stray pets from ending up in your pool.

After storms, if you have large puddles of water in your yard, have kids avoid them as they attract disease-carrying mosquitoes. Make sure your ceiling fans and air conditioning units are in good shape and working properly. Check safety gear, such as life vests, and make sure it's in good condition. Don't rely on inflatable arm "floaties" for little ones in the pool, as they will not always keep a child from going under the water.

When you visit the beach, follow basic safety protocols, and scope out the area you settle in for any debris-like broken glass, plastic, or other sharp trash left behind-and check ahead to make sure there aren't reports of dangerous algae or red tide in the region.

Car seat safety

Be careful when putting a child in a car seat. If the car has been sitting in the heat while you were building sandcastles and playing in the ocean, the buckles will be very hot and can burn sensitive little legs. It's a good idea to take your car to a local fire department and ask them to check to make sure you have the car seat installed correctly; all too often, well-meaning parents don't.

If you and your spouse trade off on taking a little one to daycare or preschool in the morning, make sure to put something you'll need in the backseat-such as your phone or purse-so you won't forget you have a passenger. In 2016 alone, there have been 24 needless child deaths from heatstroke after being left in a hot car.

Educate your child

Teach your child about the dangers of talking to strangers and how to cross a street, paying particular attention to never crossing from between two cars. Always check out local playgrounds for safety concerns before allowing your child to play and teach them the right way to use equipment. Make sure they know to always stay in sight while at the beach and to never enter the water without your knowledge or direct supervision.

Summer months can be fun for everyone as long as you are prepared. Follow these tips to get your family ready for warm months.

Huge thanks to Sara Bailey, creator of the online blog, TheWidow!