No school, pool parties, vacations and bike rides: There are many reasons summer is a favorite season for many children. With all the warm-weather fun, it’s important to ensure kids remain safe and healthy outdoors.
Because there is a higher risk of drowning, heat exhaustion, playground accidents and burns in the summer months, it’s a good idea to keep kids’ safety in mind with every outing and backyard gathering. Discover ways you can cut down on risks and ensure your kids have a fun, safe summer vacation.
Table of Contents
1. Eat a Nourishing Diet
Summer picnics and lunches packed to go often mean kids eat an abundance of packaged foods such as chips, fruit snacks, cereal bars and flavored yogurt tubes. Though these foods are convenient, they’re often loaded with high levels of sodium and sugar.
Many children are a lot more physically active during the summer, which means they need the right nutrients to fuel their bodies for seasonal sports and activities. Keep healthy snacks on hand, including fresh pieces of fruit, chopped vegetables, hard-boiled eggs, yogurt dip and hummus. As well, consider offering kids vitamins to support their normal growth and development.
2. Apply Sunscreen Regularly
Nothing spoils an afternoon at the pool like a bad sunburn. The sun’s rays can not only cause painful and unsightly burns, but repeated unprotected sun exposure damages skin cells and increases the risk of burn blisters, peeling skin and even skin cancer.
Most parents underestimate the amount of sunscreen they should apply to their children. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends using a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF between 15 and 50, applying every couple of hours or right after being in the water. Children should also wear sun-protective clothing, such as sunglasses and wide-brimmed hats, or stay out of the sun entirely.
3. Keep Cool
Flushed cheeks and perspiration are common in children who spend time having fun outside, but unless your child has had adequate rest and fuel for his or her body, these symptoms could be the first signs of heat exhaustion or heat stroke.
Heat illnesses can cause dizziness, nausea, muscle cramps, high body temperatures or headaches, and your child’s body may sweat in excess in an attempt to cool down. Make sure to take plenty of water, rest and shade breaks when you and your family spend time outdoors on hot days.
4. Stay Hydrated
Dehydration is common in the summer thanks to higher temperatures, increased physical activity and more time spent in the sun. Children are especially susceptible to dehydration as they’re less likely to stop for water breaks or notice the signs of intense thirst, and more likely to participate in high-intensity activities that cause them to break a sweat.
Children should drink as much water as is needed according to their age, activity level and weight. To help increase your child’s water intake, bring a few reusable water bottles so you never have to search for a drinking fountain or stop to buy a drink while you’re out.
5. Use Safety Equipment
When the wheels come out, so should the helmets. Not only should children always wear a helmet when riding a scooter, bicycle, skateboard, skates or any other toy with wheels, but it’s important the helmet fits securely on their head. An ill-fitting helmet can put your child at risk for major head injuries should an accident occur.
6. Prevent Bug Bites
Whether you’re in the great outdoors or just outside your front door, summer fun often takes place in insect territory. Painful, itchy bites are uncomfortable for everyone, and kids with an excess of bug bites may find it hard to focus on playdates and playground hangouts.
Whenever you and your family head outside, pack extra bug spray or other insect repellent solutions, such as bracelets, patches and anti-bug clip devices, to protect against biting insects such as gnats, ants, mosquitoes and flies.
Kids love the summertime, and you can, too, when you keep them safe. With the right gear and preparations, every member of your family can enjoy themselves all season long.
Read More: 7 Warning Signs of a Bed Bug Infestation