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  • Writer's pictureValerie Marsh

Summer Safety Tips for Parents and Children

Water Safety 

  1. Supervise Constantly: Always maintain active supervision when children are in or near water, whether it's a pool, lake, or beach. Drowning can happen quickly and quietly. 

  2. Swim Lessons: Enroll children in swimming lessons to enhance their confidence and abilities in the water. Ensure they understand basic water safety rules. 

  3. Life Jackets: Ensure young or inexperienced swimmers wear properly fitted life jackets. This is especially important in natural bodies of water where conditions can be unpredictable. 

  4. Hydrate and Rest: Encourage frequent breaks and ensure children stay hydrated to prevent fatigue and heat-related illnesses. 

Sun Protection 

  1. Apply Sunscreen: Use sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher. Apply generously on all exposed skin at least 30 minutes before going outside and reapply every two hours, or more frequently if swimming or sweating. 

  2. Protective Clothing: Dress children in lightweight, long-sleeved clothing, wide-brimmed hats, and UV-protective sunglasses to shield them from harmful UV rays. 

  3. Seek Shade: Plan outdoor activities in shaded areas whenever possible, especially during peak sun hours (10 AM to 4 PM). Use umbrellas or canopies if natural shade is unavailable. 

Hydration and Heat Safety 

  1. Stay Hydrated: Ensure children drink plenty of water throughout the day, not just when they are thirsty. Pack reusable water bottles and encourage regular sips, especially during outdoor activities. 

  2. Cool Beverages: Offer cool, refreshing beverages such as water infused with fruits (e.g., berries, lemon) or cucumber mint coolers to make hydration more appealing. 

  3. Avoid Overexertion: Schedule outdoor play during cooler parts of the day, such as early morning or late afternoon. Ensure children take frequent breaks in a cool, shaded area to rest. 

Bicycle and Helmet Safety 

  1. Proper Helmet Use: Ensure children wear a helmet every time they ride a bicycle, scooter, or skateboard. Helmets should fit snugly and be worn correctly. 

  2. Road Safety Rules: Teach children the rules of the road, including obeying traffic signals, riding on the right side of the road, and using hand signals. Supervise young riders until they are confident and responsible. 

Playground Safety 

  1. Equipment Check: Inspect playground equipment before use to ensure it is safe and appropriate for your child's age and abilities. Check for hot surfaces that could cause burns. 

  2. Safe Play Areas: Choose playgrounds with soft surfaces like mulch, sand, or rubber mats to reduce the risk of injury from falls. Ensure the play area is free from hazards such as broken glass or debris. 

General Summer Safety 

  1. Insect Protection: Use insect repellent containing picaridin or DEET (for children over 2 months old) to protect children from mosquito and tick bites. It's important to note that DEET is not recommended for infants under 2 months of age. Dress children in long sleeves and pants when in wooded or grassy areas. Check children regularly for ticks. For more information on how to safely use repellents on children and how to remove a tick, visit Ottawa Public Health

  2. First Aid Kit: Keep a well-stocked first aid kit handy during outdoor activities. Include essentials such as bandages, antiseptic wipes, tweezers, and hydrocortisone cream for minor injuries and insect bites. 

  3. Emergency Preparedness: Teach children what to do in case of an emergency. Ensure they know how to contact emergency services and provide their location. 

By following these comprehensive summer safety tips, you can help ensure that your family enjoys a safe and fun-filled season. Preparation and vigilance are key to preventing accidents and keeping everyone healthy and happy. 

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