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Be safe during any summer plan!

Young girl, wearing sunglasses, floating in a pool

It’s finally sweet, sweet summertime! You’ve likely spent the cold, dreary months looking forward to this time of year – vacations, pool days, campouts under the stars and much more. Don’t let injuries or unsafe settings put a damper on your summer fun. However your family plans to make the most of this season, we have tips to keep you all safe – so the fun can keep going all summer long! 

If you’re having a backyard campout… 

Keep pests like mosquitoes, ticks and fleas at bay with insect repellent, which is recommended to help prevent any diseases spread by these insects. While these products are effective at keeping insects away, be sure to check your child’s body and clothing for ticks after playing outdoors. If found, remove the tick as soon as possible. 

Here's how to ensure you’re applying insect repellent correctly: 

  • Always apply insect repellent after sunscreen. 
  • Dress babies and small children under 3 in lightweight clothing that covers arms and legs. Do not use products containing oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE) or para-menthane-diol (PMD) on children under 3 years old. 
  • Do not apply insect repellent onto the child’s hands, eyes or mouth, and also avoid cuts or irritated skin. To avoid these areas when applying to the child’s face, spray the repellent onto your hands first then transfer to the child’s face. 

If you’re having a bonfire as part of your campout, it’s important to set up your environment correctly. A store-bought fire pit is a safe, easy way to keep the fire contained. Talk to your children before the fire, making sure they know to stay a safe distance away from flames. Be mindful of any winds, as they can carry embers and cause the fire to spread unintentionally. Also make sure to have a source of water on hand to put out the fire in case of emergency.  

If you’re going to the swimming pool… 

Multiple layers of protection are needed to prevent drowning and ensure safety around water. Read our full blog on pool safety, and keep these tips in mind: 

  • Develop a “water watcher” system. Close and constant supervision from a responsible adult is the best way to prevent drowning in children around water, including bathtubs. The adult should be within arm’s reach, providing “touch supervision.”   
  • Use life jackets. Life jackets should be used whenever the child is in a watercraft. Air-filled swimming aids (floaties, armbands, etc.) do not take the place of life jackets. 
  • Fence and secure swimming pools. Pools should be surrounded by a 4-sided climb-proof fence that is at least 4 feet high and completely separates the pool from the house, and there should also be a self-closing and self-locking gate.  
  • Install alarms. There are pool alarms, alarms for fence gates and door alarms to help parents keep their young children safe and prevent unintended access to a pool.  
  • Teach kids to swim. Infants as young as 1 year old may benefit from swimming lessons. A parent’s decision to begin swim lessons should be based on the child’s frequency of being around water, health, cognitive and developmental levels. Parents still need to provide close supervision when children are in and around water and provide barriers to prevent unintended access to water.  
  • Get CPR Certified. Parents, caregivers and pool owners should know CPR. Early bystander CPR can double or triple chances of survival after cardiac arrest.  

If you’re going to the park or playground… 

  • Make sure the playground environment is safe. Visit playgrounds with surfaces like rubber, sand or woodchips so any falls are more cushioned. Make sure your children aren’t wearing any items that could get caught in equipment – think necklaces, scarves or drawstrings. And of course, make sure you’re always keeping an eye on your children – which should be easy, they’ll be calling for you to watch them climb and swing! 
  • Stay hydrated. Children generate more heat than adults, but sweat less, which makes them more susceptible to dehydration. To stay well hydrated, children ages 1-3 need about 4 cups of beverage per day (including water or milk.) This increases to 5 cups for 4-8 year olds and 7-8 cups for older children.  
  • Utilize sunscreen and sun-safe apparel. Any child 6 months or older can safely wear sunscreen. Infants younger than 6 months should stay out of direct sun. You can also dress your child in UV protective clothing, hats, sunglasses and more to keep them safe in the summer fun. Read all our sun safety tips here.  

If you’re going on a road trip… 

  • Always use a car seat for infants and young children. Infants and toddlers should ride rear-facing until they reach the weight or height limit as indicated by the car seat manufacturer. After this, they should ride in a forward-facing car seat. 
  • If your child has outgrown their car seat, they should ride in a belt-positioning booster until the vehicle’s seatbelt fits properly. 
  • All children under 13 years of age should ride in the rear seat of vehicles. 
  • Children can become restless on a long road trip. Keep them occupied by pointing out sights, playing games like “I Spy” and bringing soft, lightweight toys or favorite music for entertainment. Plan to stop driving and take a break about every 2 hours. 

If you’re going on a family walk or bike/scooter ride… 

  • Keep pedestrians in mind. Young children are more impulsive and less cautious around traffic, not fully understanding the danger that can come with crossing the street. Practice walking with children to teach them traffic signs, directions and to model good behaviors when crossing streets. 
  • Always wear a helmet. Helmets are recommended for various forms of biking, batting, catching, riding, skiing, tackling and skating. A child’s helmet should fit properly and be well maintained, age appropriate, worn consistently and correctly and be appropriately certified for use. Parent tip: if your child fights wearing a helmet, let them pick it out! Getting to choose a helmet makes them more likely to be excited while wearing it. 

Whatever you and your family have planned for this summer, we hope you have a safe and healthy time making new memories.