Summer Safety Tips for Children

IMAGE Summer is fun, but it can also present some health risks, especially for children. Here are some safety tips to help make your child's summer a safe one.

Bike Safety

  • Protect your child's head. Make sure your child always wears a helmet that fits properly.
  • Check the bike to make sure the brakes are working. Also, the tires should be fully inflated.
  • Adjust the seat to your child's height.
  • Teach your child to check for traffic before entering a street or intersection.
  • Show your child how to get off the bike at an intersection and walk it in a cross walk.
  • Explain the rules of the road to your child. Bicycles are considered vehicles and must obey the same rules as motorists.
  • Teach your child the proper hand signals for left turn, right turn, and stopping.
  • Never allow your child to wear headphones while riding. Headphones will block traffic sounds.

Scooter/Skateboard/Skating Safety

  • Make sure your child has the proper protective gear—a helmet, wrist guards, and elbow and knee pads. The gear should be used every time.
  • Teach your child to stay away from cars and other vehicles and to ride only on the sidewalk or paved off-road paths.
  • Make sure your child rides only during the day.
  • Never allow your child to wear headphones while riding. Headphones will block traffic sounds.

Water Safety

  • Never leave children alone with any body of water such as a pool, bath tub, or spa.
  • As the supervising adult, be within arm's length of young children who are swimming. You should know how to swim, be able to rescue someone, and do CPR.
  • Have your child wear a Coast Guard-approved floatation device. The vest should properly fit your child and be comfortable.
  • Have your child take swimming lessons. Remember that even a child who knows how to swim is still at risk for drowning and will need constant supervision.
  • Explain pool and water safety. Make sure your children do not run or play rough near the pool.
  • When swimming in open water, choose an area where there is a lifeguard.
  • When the depth of the water is unknown, teach your children to go into the water feet first. Jumping or diving can result in injury.
  • Body parts and hair can be trapped in the pool drains. Be sure that the pool has drain covers or a filter system to release the suction.
  • Fence in all pooled areas with a locking enclosure. In addition, you may want to get a pool alarm or rigid pool cover. If you use a lightweight, floating pool cover, be extra alert to the potential for drowning accidents. These covers do not keep people from falling in, and no one should ever crawl or walk on them.
  • Be aware of the weather. Never let your children swim during a lightening storm.

Sun Safety

  • Use sunscreen with at least an SPF of 30 and apply to your child 20 minutes prior to sun exposure. Even if it is cloudy outside, your child still needs sunscreen.
  • When possible, dress your child in light-colored fabrics that cover exposed areas.
  • Make sure that your child drinks plenty of water to reduce the risk of dehydration.
  • Try to avoid midday sun. This is when the sun's rays are the most intense.
  • Encourage your child to wear a wide-brim hat and sunglasses.

Backyard/Playground Safety

  • Always supervise children when they are using play equipment.
  • Be sure that children are wearing the appropriate clothing and shoes.
  • When installing playground equipment, make sure it is free from obstructions, such as walls and fences.
  • Teach your child safe play habits, including sitting in the center of a swing and not twisting the swing chains, which can reduce the chain's strength. In addition, tell your child to never walk in front of or behind moving swings.
  • Because of the risk of serious injury, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that trampolines should never be bought for home use. Trampolines should not be considered a type of play equipment.
  • Keep children away from areas where lawn mowers are being used. Never allow children to ride on mowers.
  • Make sure your child understands that the grill is not a toy. Keep your child from playing near it.

Bug Bite Safety

  • Make sure your child wears shoes. This will help minimize the risk of a bee or insect sting on the feet.
  • Use insect repellent sparingly on older children and never on infants. Wash off the repellent as soon as your child comes indoors.
  • If your child develops hives or wheezing after an insect sting, it may be due to an allergic reaction. Get medical attention right away.
  • Check your child for ticks. If you do find a tick, remove it by doing the following:
    • Use a pair of tweezers to grasp the tick by the head or mouthparts as close to the skin as possible.
    • Pull directly outward, gently but firmly, with steady even force. Do not twist the tick out. Try not to crush the tick's body or handle it with bare fingers.
    • Do not put a hot match to the tick or cover it with petroleum jelly, nail polish, or any other substance.
    • After the tick is removed, swab the site thoroughly with an antiseptic to prevent infection.

Revisions

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This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.

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