Summertime Safety Tips for Children

With the warmer months soon in full effect, many parents have begun taking their kids outdoors to explore mother nature’s beauty. And to be perfectly honest, there’s nothing more satisfying than jumping into a pool or lake on a hot and humid day!

Although it’s all fun and games when kids are playing with their friends, there are precautions and tips that parents need to implement to ensure their child’s safety. If you’re ready to have the best spring and summer of your life, here’s how to remain safe while enjoying the day!

Safe Swimming

Once summer rolls around, kids of all ages flock to nearby watering areas to take a dip while basking in the sun’s glow. For onlooking parents, the pastime of swimming can be worrisome: kids are jumping in and out of the water, pushing one another around, running on wet surfaces and not paying attention to their surroundings.

If you know your child will be participating in water-based activities in the following months, here’s a strategy to reduce the possibility of an injury:

  • If your child is swimming in a creek or lake, monitor their activity and don’t let them swim unsupervised.

  • Ensure that an active lifeguard is on duty before leaving your child at a public pool.

  • Before heading to a pool or lake, have a conversation with your child about their safety, and encourage them not to run or play roughly with friends.

  • Examine your local pool’s inspection score to ensure it’s safe for your child to swim.

We know this checklist may make you feel like an over-protective parent, but your child will thank you later on in their life for doing so! In our opinion, you can never be too cautious when dealing with children and water safety.

Hydration and Exhaustion

One topic that often gets overlooked when discussing summertime safety is the fatigue that mounts while being active in the sun. Whether we realize it or not, the combination of heat and humidity drains our energy faster than cold temperatures do.

To keep exhaustion at bay, we recommend parents pack drinks and foods filled with complex carbohydrates and fast-acting sugars. When your child is feeling the effects of the sun, have them take a quick break to snack on something and consume drinks with electrolytes.

Moreover, parents should familiarize themselves with signs of heat exhaustion. While many parents think kids are too young to experience such a traumatic event, the opposite is true. If your child has been out in the sun for too long, here are the signs something may be wrong:

  • Lethargic behavior

  • Muscle cramping

  • Slurred speech

  • Excessive sweating

  • Confusion

  • Vomiting

  • Headache

  • Clammy skin

Heat exhaustion, when left unchecked, can lead to serious medical conditions like stroke and organ damage. When your child’s core body temperature exceeds its limits, mechanisms in their body behave erratically and lead to life-threatening scenarios.

If your child has begun showing signs of heat exhaustion, bring them indoors and cover them with cold towels and damp cloths. If this doesn’t lower their temperature, placing them into an ice bath is a viable option. As always, consult with your pediatrician to explore ways to reduce the chance your child experiences heat exhaustion in subsequent years.

Sun Protection

Did you know that young children are more susceptible to skin damage from the sun than adults are? Your pediatrician has long since known that adults develop the majority of their skin damage in their childhood and teenage years.

If you know your child is going to spend most of their day outdoors when summer rolls around, you have to stay on top of your game. One way to do this is by applying a high-quality sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 or higher.

For parents who plan to take their kids outside shortly, apply your sunscreen between 30 and 45-minutes before leaving the house. Moreover, don’t skip unseen areas! Spots, such as behind your child’s ears, neck, feet, nose and under their clothing straps, are areas parents often miss.

And if you’re spending the entire day in the sun’s rays, you need to reapply your product every 1.5 to 2 hours. When your child is sweating and playing with others, the product smears and falls off their skin, so plan accordingly. Also, consider dressing your child in loose-fitting clothing that covers exposed skin, and put a cap on their head for shade!

Ride in Style!

For parents whose child is riding a bike, skateboard or rollerblades already, congratulations! Riding through a summer breeze is a memory they won’t soon forget. However, we encourage you to buckle them up before heading out the front door. Here’s a quick checklist to consult before they leave:

  • Helmet

  • Knee pads

  • Elbow pads

  • Wrist guards

When your child knows they’re going to be protected in the event of a fall or crash, they’re more likely to push their boundaries and develop a new level of mastery in their hobby. As parents who want the best for their children, nothing could make us happier than seeing them grow.