5 Most Important Summer Safety Tips

boy and girl playing on ropes

Summertime is all about fun. But with that fun, there are also lots of opportunities for accidents to happen. Make sure you and your kids go over these tips on how to stay safe this summer. And share them with your summer nanny or babysitter too.

  1. Let Kids Be Independent -- To a Point
    Forget Independence Day: To your older children, summer means independence every day. How can you let them enjoy their freedom, while making sure they're safe? Get to know your children's friends -- and their parents, suggests Bedford. "If possible, establish your home as a fun meeting place by providing an area for the kids to hang out," she says. "It's important to build bonds with your own children and help them establish strong friendships with others."

  2. Drive Safely
    The summer heat can cause the temperature in your car to skyrocket, so never leave your child (or pets!) in your car, even if the car's cool when you walk away -- and even if you're planning to be in a store "just for a minute." (Famous last words!)

    And on holidays like Memorial Day, Fourth of July and Labor Day, people have the tendency to let loose...then hit the road. And while you -- and your teenage children -- know that not drinking and driving is a given, there are a few things to keep in mind to protect yourself from reckless drivers on the road. "[Know] warning signs of a driver who may be impaired [such as] driving too fast or too slow, not having their headlights on, and drifting into other lanes," Bedford explains.

    What's even safer than that? "Plan activities that don't require driving home at very late hours of the night." She also encourages you to provide your child with a cell phone in case they need to reach you or 911 -- a charger, too.

  3. Check Playground Equipment -- Including Your Own
    Give structures in your backyard and at the playground a pull and a shake to ensure they're secure. Then check the equipment to make sure there are no sharp edges or hot spots -- those popular black rubber swings attract the sun's heat, so do metal slides, making them a potential danger on hot summer days. And steer clear of concrete playgrounds. Running around leads to falling, and you want your child's landing to be cushioned by a softer material like wood chips.

    "Since most newer playground equipment is designed for safety, it's often items that are hidden in play surfaces that pose dangers, such as shards of glass," warns Bedford. She recommends keeping a well-equipped first-aid kit tucked away in your purse, along with some antiseptic wipes, just in case.

  4. Wear Sunscreen Every Day
    Staying safe during summer isn't just a short-term goal; keep your long-term safety and health in mind, as well. According to Daniel M. Siegel, MD, president of The American Academy of Dermatology, everyone should wear sunscreen every day -- no exceptions. "That especially applies at the beach because the sand reflects twenty-five percent of the sun's rays."

    What type of sunscreen is best? "Look for broad-spectrum protection, which protects against both UVA and UVB rays, SPF 30 or greater, and water-resistance," suggests Siegel.

    Bedford adds that it's important to establish a routine for applying sunscreen before any outdoor activities. "Make it a part of getting ready, right along with putting on a bathing suit," she says.

By : Josey Miller

Source : www.care.com

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