Kate is the blogger behind the MaternityGlow blog, where she writes helpful tips and tricks for new parents.
Summer is almost here!
And summer is my favorite season because it’s warm, it’s sunny, and there’s so much to do with my two little kids.
But before letting your little ones loose in the yard, in the pool, or at the park, be sure to consider a few important safety tips to help them stay safe at home, at play, and with their friends.
1. Safety Tips When Biking
Helmets are a must-have when your little ones are biking.
Obviously, they protect from head injuries, and we all know kids fall a lot when they are first learning to ride their bike.
You should also make sure all bikes and trikes have tires that are filled with enough air, and all parts feel sturdy, not wobbly.
I like to always keep my kids in my line of view and prefer taking them to a park or a bike trail to ride on, rather than on a street.
Also, be sure your child’s bike has a water bottle holder so they can stop and take hydration breaks on hot summer days.
2. Safety Tips When in the Sun
Sunburn is very dangerous to everyone, but especially babies and kids because their skin is so delicate.
Slather on some waterproof sunscreen that has an SPF of 50 and be sure to reapply it every two hours, or as needed.
I also like to send my little ones outside wearing hats and sunglasses, and even setting up an umbrella for them to play under to get a break from the sun!
We’ve all heard that the sun is strongest between the hours of 10 am and 2 pm, so you may want to remain indoors during these times, especially if your child has fair or sensitive skin.
Also, pay attention to heat advisories by tuning into the weather station or checking out the weather app on your phone. Some days are simply too hot for anyone to be outdoors, so keep the kiddos in the air conditioning on days like these.
3. Safety Tips When Swimming
Drowning is a major risk for young kids, and the number one tip for safe swimming is to make sure your child has the proper floatation device.
Puddle jumpers and life preservers should fit your child snugly, and never be loose. Flotation devices should also be able to put/keep a child on their back if they fall into a pool, lake, or ocean.
Be sure to learn about the different levels of protection when it comes to choosing the right flotation device for the kind of water your child will be in or near. I have a whole guide about it here if you want to read more.
Also, if your child has taken swim lessons or is at the age where they can swim on their own, never leave them unsupervised in the pool. They could jump in and hit their head.
Teach your swimmer about shallow and deep water, explaining to them that they should never dive where they can stand.
Goggles are also great for protecting sensitive eyes!
4. Safety Tips with Food
Picnics pop up weekly in the summer. And, whether you choose to host one or attend one, you need to know a few food safety tips in order to keep your guests and children safe.
For example, never leave anything that should regularly be refrigerated (or that can perish easily) out in the sun, or for more than two hours. Consider keeping it indoors or on ice so you don’t have to worry about bacteria taking over.
Make sure you sanitize any outdoor surface where you will be eating to kill off germs, and if you’re grilling, be sure that all meat is cooked through before serving it.
5. Safety Tips with Nature
Beware of poison ivy!
Nothing makes a child grumpier (or itchier!). Show them an example of what the plant looks like, and teach them the age old saying, “Leaves of three, leave them be.”
Young children are also fascinated with berries that can be plucked from a bush.
It’s important to teach them the kinds that are edible (raspberries, blackberries, blueberries) from the ones that are not (Pokeberries, Nightshade, and Dogwood).
Better yet, tell your child they should never pick anything from a vine and eat it unless they ask/show you first. You can brush up on what’s edible and what’s not in your area by viewing guides and images online.
You should also talk to your children about animals and the heat. The heat can affect animals in strange ways, especially dogs.
Remind your children to never go up to a dog if they are panting and drooling excessively, or if their tail is not wagging.
Summer is a favorite season of a lot of families. There’s so much to see and do outdoors.
Before sending your kids off to play, be sure to go over these five safety tips with them so you can ensure a safety, successful summer.