School is out. Children are excited. Summer means lots of children will be playing outdoors and having fun, but it is very important to have a safety checklist to keep children safe. Remember, children are especially susceptible to heat.
Observe the tips below to keep your child safe:
• Never leave children (or pets) unattended in a vehicle.
• No playing in cars and trucks.
• ALWAYS check before leaving/locking car — some parents leave their purse on the floor near the car seat to ensure they retrieve it along with the child. YOU MAY SAVE A LIFE.
• Apply sunscreen 30 minutes before going outdoors. Use SPF15 or higher sunscreen. Reapply every 2 hours or sooner if swimming, sweating or toweling off. Look for shade whenever possible.
• Keep Them Hydrated — A child should drink a glass of water 1-2 hours before going outside and another glass 10-15 minutes before going out, even if they are not thirsty.
• If on wheels, wear the right size helmet. A helmet must fit properly.
• Teach children to walk, not run, across the street. Cross only at marked crossings and use sidewalks when possible. Always hold your child’s hand near parked or moving vehicles.
• Adult Supervision — always focus on children 100% of time.
• Use touch supervision, which means adult is within arm’s length of child being watched when near/in the water.
• REMEMBER — no child or adult is drown proof.
Outdoor Equipment and Vehicle Seats
• Dark seat interiors and car seats, metal seatbelt buckles can get too hot, and children may be burned in just one second.
• Never let children near the grill. It remains hot even after everything has been cooked.
• Use insect repellant — guard off ticks, mosquitoes. If using Deet, DO NOT spray on child’s hands, face, or possible ingestion — it is potentially deadly if swallowed. Before bedtime, wash off product to prevent overexposure to the chemical. An alternative to Deet are natural insect repellants.
• Check out playground equipment for loose parts, etc. Surface on which equipment is set should be mulch, sand, rubberized or pea gravel to absorb the fall.
• Swing sets — Check equipment; keep tots at least 15 feet from swings.
• Under age 3 — If a child usually around 3 years old can safely climb in the swing and hold on, this swing is okay. Younger tots should sit in baby swings (6 months and up.)
• Slides should be in a shady area to avoid a hot slide that results in burns to the child.
• Shoes should be worn on playground equipment.
• Avoid stagnant water — mosquitoes can fester there.
• Upon return home, check children for insect bites and ticks.
• Program your children’s pediatrician’s number into your cell phone.
• Always keep a bag for “just in case” — health snacks, Band-Aids, Neosporin, first aid items.
Happy Summer Fun!
(References: “Top 10 Summer Safety Checklist Tips,” Katherine Lee, 2012. “Summer Safety,” American Baby, 2009)
Great Summer Reads
• “I See Summer,” by Charles Ghigna, 2-4 years. The joys of summer — sailboats, seagulls and picnics.
• “Mouse’s First Summer,” by Lauren Thompson, 2004, board book. Join Mouse and Minka for a summer picnic and a stroll in the park.
Read aloud for 15 minutes — every child, every parent, every day. Plant the seeds that will sprout into language.