Summer is almost here, and with it comes a lot of outdoor activities with your little ones. Especially this summer. All my family wants to do is get outside and enjoy the sunshine! We’ll be heading to the beach, taking road trips, and spending lots of afternoons out by the pool. But my kids love to explore their surroundings, so we can never be too safe as parents to prevent injuries from happening. Here are eight fail-proof summer safety tips I use to keep my kids happy and protected every summer.
The CDC advises using U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets on the water.
Rock a Helmet
One summer, I saw a mom rollerblading and pushing a stroller with dad right behind her on a skateboard, holding his one-year-old infant without a helmet. I was shocked that the dad would skateboard holding the infant when all it takes is one of my kids to get in his way to cause a fall.
Accidental falls are the number one cause of childhood injury. But you can reduce the risk of a head injury by 85 percent just by having your child wear a snug-fit helmet. They come in all kinds of fun colors or with characters, so there’s no reason your kid won’t want to wear one!
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Know Your Water Safety
If you have a pool, make sure your child can’t get to it. It’s actually the law to have a fence between the home and the pool. Check for water in buckets or even in little blow-up pools. One summer, the little blow-up pool in our yard was not being used so we turned it upside down. After a big rainstorm, it filled upside down with water, and sure enough, my little one was playing by it and fell in. We were right there to scoop him up, but it happened so quickly, even with six adults present.
All it takes is one inch for a child to drown. It’s best to double-check your home. Also, do not let your child swim unattended, and while they are swimming, it’s time to put your phone down and pay attention. Teach your kids to stay away from the water and know they have to ask permission to play with it.
We All Fall Down
All of my kids have sustained injuries by falling right in front of me. Kids fall, that’s for sure, but there are some extra steps we need to take during the warmer months.
Sadly, falls out of windows and decks increase when it’s warmer. In our last house, I remember opening a few upstairs windows to let some air in, and sure enough, my baby went running towards the window and slammed his hands on the screen. It scared me to death, and I never opened my windows again because of it. There should have been window stops in place to prevent it from opening so wide or a window guard.
Deck slats also shouldn’t be wider than four inches. In my friend’s older home, the slats were so wide my toddler could fit through it. This can all be avoided by knowing your surroundings and making sure if you are at a friend’s house, to check the upstairs before you let your kids run free.
Check out all my summer safety tips on the City Girl Gone Mom Pinterest board!
During past summers, pre-COVID, I used to do a lot of carpooling, so I always try to have extra boosters in the trunk of my car. All 50 states require car seats and boosters. In the state of California, the law is children under eight and/or 57 pounds require a child restraint. For this one. I don’t mind pushing it an extra year or two, especially if my kid is on the smaller side.
Stay informed of the weather when you’re outdoors, especially in an unfamiliar city. Sudden heat waves can be extremely dangerous!
Double Check the Car
Never leave children or pets in your vehicle. You would think this one would be common sense, but still, year after year, a child or pet loses their life because they were left in the car. Even with cracked windows, the temperature in the car rises quickly. Under no circumstance should you ever leave your kid in the car or let them play in it.
Slather on That Sunscreen
Prevent sunburns and use sunscreen on children six months or older. Reapply after your kids have gone swimming. And have your kids wear rash guards and hats to avoid burning. I love non-toxic sunscreens; they’re great for my kids. Don’t forget to apply 30 minutes before going outside, even if it’s overcast, and re-apply quite often.
Drink, Drink, Drink
I’ve talked about this one a lot in past posts. I love filling my kids’ Klean Kanteens with ice water when we go out. But it’s important for them to drink before you go out and take multiple water breaks during the day.
Also, stay far away from caffeinated beverages as they cause you to dehydrate. Children are so much more prone to dehydration because their bodies don’t cool down as adults do. The American College of Sports Medicine recommends drinking the equivalent of a standard bottle of water (16.9 oz.) about two hours before vigorous exercise. Sports drinks replace electrolytes, and I am okay with my kids occasionally having them.
Remember to Make Smart Decisions
What I am doing as their mom is talking about these summer safety tips and teaching the kids to make good choices. As they get older, I won’t be able to monitor them; that is why I have to instill in them now the correct methods to protect themselves. I am paving the way for good habits early on. What are you doing to pave the way for your kids to learn about safety? Comment on the post below!
In addition to sunscreen, the CDC recommends a wide-brimmed hat (or plenty of shade breaks!) to protect your skin from the sun.