It’s that wonderful time of the year again…SUMMER! No school and sunny skies, what’s not to love?!
Summer is the perfect time for road trips, swimming, building sandcastles on the beach, riding bikes, playing outside, hiking, and the list could go on… While the summer holds endless possibilities for fun, it is also important we make sure our little ones stay safe. There are many summer safety tips to remember to make sure everyone has a happy and safe summer, but here are a few to keep top of mind:
1. Sun protection: It is important to make sure children are protected from harmful UV rays, especially if outside for prolonged periods of time. Hats and sunglasses are great accessories to use as protection during the summer months. It is also recommended for children to use sunscreen that has a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30.
2. Bike safety: Helmets are the most effective way to prevent head injuries from bicycle crashes. Make sure your child has the right size helmet and wears it every time when riding bikes, roller skating, or using a scooter. You can even be a good role model to your children by wearing a helmet yourself!
3. Car safety: Planning any road trips? Regarding car seat recommendations, infants must remain in a backward facing car seat until 1 year of age and at least 20 pounds. Toddlers weighing more than 20 pounds can use a forward facing booster seat placed in the back seat. Children must stay in a booster seat until they weigh 60 pounds and they should not ride in the front seat of a car until they are at least 13 years old.
4. Water safety: Swimming is a great way for children to get exercise during the summer. It is important to teach your children never to go near or in the water without an adult present. Swimming lessons should be sought when your child is ready. Pools at home should have gates at least 5 feet high and door alarms to alert an adult if a child wanders into an unsupervised pool area.
5. Pedestrian safety: Children under 10 years old should always cross the street with an adult. Every child develops differently, but it can be hard for kids to judge the speed and distance of cars until at least 10 years of age. Teach your children to look left, right and left again when crossing the street, and emphasize the importance of never running out into the street without looking. It is always best to use sidewalks or paths to walk on if available, and to cross streets at the crosswalk.
These safety tips are easy yet vital ways to ensure that our children stay safe during the summer months (and beyond). This anticipatory guidance can be discussed further with your child’s pediatrician or family provider. Happy Summer!
-Posted by Adrian Krutz, MSN, FNP