School’s out for the summer, so safety considerations shift as kids spend more time at home, on their wheels and near the water.
Read on for safety tips to make this your best—and safest—summer ever!
Safety on Wheels
With bikes, scooters, skates, skateboards and all-terrain vehicles, kids likely spend more time on wheels during summer months. Avoiding injury while enjoying them—and the freedom they provide—is key.
Consistent helmet use is the most important habit to develop and maintain. Never ride with headphones or other distractions—little riders should remain aware of their surroundings.
Other safety tips for riding ATVs include:
- Adult supervision for children younger than 12
- Stay off public and paved roads
- Avoid nighttime riding, and add flags reflectors and lights for visibility
When the wheels are yours—that is your car, check out these tips for keeping your car seats cooler in the summer heat.
Keep Moving Even When It’s Hot
When the heat index rises, playing outside may seem like a non-starter. Playing and exercising outdoors boost kids’ mental and physical health, so find ways to make it work and avoid cabin fever.
Venture outside during the relatively cooler parts of the day—morning or evening. Remember bug spray to keep away pests.
Hit the pool or otherwise enjoy water and swimming. Be mindful to avoid drowning dangers and designate a water watcher to keep kids safe. Choosing the right color swimsuit can be important for safety too.
Swimming is an easy way to keep moving without overheating. Remind kids to keep drinking even while staying cool by swimming and playing in water.
Avoiding risk of heat exhaustion or heat stroke in kids includes drinking more fluids and avoiding too much sun and heat.
How much water should your child drink? Kids should drink to thirst but may need to be reminded to listen to their bodies’ thirst cues.
Keep cool water available while outside. Popsicles and fruit provide hydration too. As a general rule of thumb, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends:
- 4 cups daily for ages 1-3
- 5 cups daily for ages 4-8
- 7-8 cups for older children
Remember Sun Protection
No one wants a sunburn, but a sunburned kid is a grumpy kid.
Sunscreen is key, not only in summer, but it returns to top-of-mind when you’re spending more time outdoors. Hats and rash guards can also provide less goopy protection. Add sunglasses to your little one’s summer wardrobe to protect their eyes from harmful rays.
Avoid Other Burns Too
Summer can mean campfires, grills and fireworks. Keep your kids safe from those risks too.
To celebrate Independence Day more safely:
- Leave fireworks to the professionals
- Use glow sticks or confetti poppers to have some fun
- Don’t let kids handle fireworks or sparklers (even if they’re unlit)
If you DO pop fireworks yourself, an adult should light them one at a time. Move away from lit fireworks quickly. Keep observers—including kids—at a safe distance. Keep a bucket of water nearby.
For campfires and cookouts, remember these safety tips:
- Keep kids at least three feet away from grills and fire pits
- Store lighters and matches out of sight
- Make sure marshmallow roasting sticks are long enough
- Watch kids closely while they roast them
More Time at Home
If this summer is the season for your child to learn more independence and spend some time home alone, check out our tips for safely setting ground rules.