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Outdoor Summer Safety Tips

by Dr. Susan Canizares | June 7, 2018 | Safety and Security

For much of the country, the weather has begun to change and warm up so that children are starting to play outside more often. We all know the importance of spending time being active, and there is no better place for this than the outdoors. For parents, this means having a new set of safety rules. By taking the necessary precautions, you and your children can have a safe and fun time outdoors.

Children can become dehydrated more easily than adults because their bodies are not as efficient at cooling down. While spending time outdoors in the heat, your child needs to drink plenty of fluids to replace those that are being lost through sweating. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children drink six glasses of water on an average day. Here are some helpful tips:

  • Don’t wait until your child is thirsty to offer liquids. By that time, your child may already be dehydrated.
  • Schedule water breaks often—about every 20 minutes.
  • Try to take water breaks in the shade.
  • If your child doesn’t like to drink water, then popsicles are a good alternative.

Skin damage caused by the sun’s rays is also a safety concern. Most of the sun’s rays go through the clouds, so it is important to wear sunscreen even on cloudy or hazy days. Keep these tips in mind:

  • Apply sunscreen 30 minutes before going outside.
  • Reapply sunscreen every two hours and after sweating or swimming.
  • Use sunscreen with at least SPF 15, as well as UVA and UVB protection.
  • Don’t forget to apply sunscreen to the ears and neck. The scalp is also very vulnerable, so encourage your child to wear a hat or apply sunscreen to that area.
  • Sunglasses are important in protecting a child’s eyes from the sun’s UV rays.

Bikes, skateboards, and scooters will be in use, making helmet safety a concern. Remember:

  • Make sure your child has a helmet that fits correctly.
  • Fasten the chin straps. The helmet won’t work properly if it is not secured.
  • Model proper safety etiquette by wearing a helmet yourself.

Remember to pack a bag for summer travel. Even short trips may require you to be prepared with any of the following items:

  • Extra sunscreen
  • Water
  • Bandages
  • Insect repellent
  • Necessary medications such as an EpiPen

While this list may seem a bit overwhelming, it only takes a little preparation. The memories that you make with your child will be worth a few bumps and bug bites along the way.