Summer is a great season for activity, for family trips, and for all types
of adventure. School is out, the weather is warm, and for many children
(ideally), that means spending as much time outside playing as possible.
What that means for parents, however, is making sure their kids are enjoying
the summer safely, without endangering themselves or others.
The best way to ensure your child is going to enjoy a safe summer is to
give them strong boundaries and instill a sense of The Rules before the
summer begins. To help you out, Saint Francis Healthcare has provided
a few safety tips and principles you can use to make sure your child is
staying safe through the summer.
#1: Buy Your Child a Hat or Sunglasses
Helping your children stay safe is not just about telling them what to
do—sometimes it’s about helping them take ownership of their
safety. One sneaky way to do this is offering to buy them a hat or sunglasses.
These accessories will help them protect their faces from sunburns, but
by offering to buy them their own, they will be far more likely to wear
it than if you bought one explicitly for safety reasons.
You can even give your kids a budget and let them shop around a little.
By the time they choose a pair, they may be so excited that you’ll
have a hard time getting them to take it off indoors!
#2: Apply Sunscreen Whenever Going Outside
Even one major sunburn can significantly increase your child’s odds
for developing skin cancer later in life. When school gets out, they’ll
immediately be moving from an indoor environment to an outdoors one—which
means their skin will be especially sensitive to the sun. Set up a habit
of applying a little sunscreen to your child whenever he or she leaves
It might be a bit of a hassle at first, but reapplying sunscreen every
couple hours or so will make sure your child can enjoy the sunlight without
an increased cancer risk. The need to continue applying sunscreen will
increase as it gets warmer in July and August, but as your child becomes
more used to sunlight, their skin will be more a little more resistant
#3: The Water Drinking Rule
Summer is also a time for snacking—but it’s also the busiest
season for hospitals when it comes to heatstroke and dehydration. Get
your kids in the habit of drinking water whenever they eat or want a snack.
We recommend implementing a Water Drinking Rule: whenever your child wants
to eat a sugary treat or some kind of snack,they need to drink 8 oz. of water (or 1 glass).
This will a.) offset the salt present in many snacks, b.) lessen their
appetite to curb excessive snacking, and c.) ensure that they have the
water they need to play in the heat and humidity of summer.
#4: Sign Them Up for Swimming Lessons
As your children get older, the best defense against drowning isn’t
complicated fencing or strict swimming rules—it’s simply knowing
how to swim. While these other things are good, a great way to empower
your children is to sign them up for swimming lessons. Not only is it
physically healthy and fun, but it provides them with a much-needed familiarity
with the water.
Swimming lessons are often provided by community organizations, so check
your local YMCA or gym for summer swimming classes.
Many of these tips can be implemented or started today, so go ahead! It’s
never too early to practice safety—and starting today means your
children will have the right habits already established during the hottest
months of the year.