I’ve always loved the fun in the sun that defines summer. But it’s also a time when children experience more injuries and make more visits to the emergency room than any other time of year.
Before the last bell of the 2011-2012 school year ushers in the approaching summer season and before a momma starts filling her days with a plethora of plans for the kiddos, it’s wise to consider safety first.
The M.O.M. Initiative wants to help your summertime be filled with fun and accident free, so we’re offering 10 summertime safety tips to help you have the best summer ever!
1. Moderation is key to fun in the sun. Remember, your little ones can become overheated and dehydrated much faster than you. So, when you make outdoor plans be sure to either include some shade or keep the time they spend in direct sunlight to a minimum.
2. Keep the sunscreen on the kids. Sunburns are not only painful but can be dangerous as well as a big cancer causing culprit. Fifteen minutes in direct sunlight is all it takes for tender skin to begin to burn. When it comes to sunscreen a good rule to remember is, if they’re in the sun it’s on their skin. (Make sure the SPF is 15 or more)
3. Don’t be bugged by insects. Avoid scented soaps, scented lotions and perfumes. Avoid garbage cans, standing water, leaves and woodpiles where yellow jackets, mosquitos, ticks and spiders love to dwell.
4. Get ‘em geared up. Most outside activities require some type of gear. Bicycle riding requires helmets; skateboarding requires helmets, elbow & knee pads; soccer requires shin guards and boating requires life vests. Be sure that you get your children properly geared up for whatever activity they’re involved in.
5. Take lessons first. Whether it’s swimming, horseback riding, water skiing or some other sport, be sure to have your child take lessons prior to participating in those activities. Those who teach these lessons also provide safety instructions and help prepare your children to play it safe.
6. Be aware of the weather. Check the weather before you head out. If a lightning storm approaches, avoid open spaces, standing in water and standing under a tree. Find shelter inside if possible. If not, make your way back to your car. The same is true for wind and hail storms.
7. Teach them to stick to the rules. Whatever activity you choose to do, be sure your children are taught the rules. Teach them to take precautions and make sure they stick to the rules. If they do something you’ve told them is outside of the realm of safety, be a good mom and make them sit it out for a little while. While children are often fearless and aren’t mature enough to consider the significance of safety, the consequences of not being able to participate may make them choose to stay safe.
8. Keep it age appropriate. Children are often injured trying to do things they aren’t old enough to do. Their dexterity isn’t always as developed as it needs to be for certain activities. Don’t allow your children to venture into the world of trying to be too big for their britches.
9. Be cool by the pool. Be extremely careful when your are near water. Observe the 2 foot rule when with your small children in the pool. That means don’t allow yourself to be more than 2 foot away from a child even if they’re wearing floaties. Inflatable rings, wings and rafts can easily be deflated and are often too slippery for children to hold on to. No running by the pool. No wrestling in the pool. And most importantly, NO children near the pool without supervision by an adult who can swim.
10. Be prepared. Know CPR and keep a “Summertime Fun Kit” packed and with you at all times. Include a camera, snacks, boxed drinks, a first aid kit, sunscreen, bug repellent, anti-sting lotion, calamine lotion, bandaids, antibiotic ointment, an ace bandage, tweezers, scissors, alcohol or peroxide, Visine, a spare set of clothes, an extra pair of shoes, a comb or brush, a toothbrush and tooth paste, a couple of books, a couple of games.
Summer is such a fun time of the year. Don’t let an injury or accident ruin a moment of it! Keep the kiddos safe and make memories you and your family will never forget.
What would you add to this list?