With the arrival of spring and summer come more opportunities to play outside. Kids need this outdoor time to burn off energy and relax. Here’s how to keep your children safe outside so they, and you, can enjoy recreation without worry.
#1. Watch the weather
No matter what region of the country you live in, weather can be a major issue. Use sunblock every time your child goes outside in the sun.
Keep an eye on weather reports, particularly in those few weeks as the seasons change for any major weather events.
Teach your kids proper protocol, such as seeking shelter at the first sign of lightning.
#2. Fence them in–within reason
Fences are a safety must. Families who particularly need them include those who live on or near a busy road, those who have dogs or other outdoor pets, and those who live near woods.
Make sure any gate latches are too high for a child to reach and that holes or gaps in fences are fixed as soon as possible. Many organizations, such as the American Academy of Pediatrics and the National Drowning Prevention Association, recommend fences anywhere from 48 inches to 60 inches, especially around pools.
#3. Supervise water play
Never let your children play in the pool unsupervised, even if they are preteens or teens. Make sure you have a sturdy pool fence and a working pool alarm.
Have children who don’t know how to swim yet wear water wings or other flotation devices, and enroll your kids in swimming lessons as soon as possible. Never allow swimming after dark.
#4. Beware of bugs
While annoying, bugs also bring Lyme disease, West Nile virus, and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, among other insect-borne diseases. Always have your kids wear bug repellent.
Don’t let kids go on hikes or do other woodland activities without an adult, and encourage tick safety, such as pulling socks up over pants. Do regular tick checks on your kids and your pets, and educate yourself on symptoms of bug-borne diseases to watch for.
#5. Play with, but monitor, pets and animals
Teach your kids that if a pet is not yours, it’s not okay to touch it without permission from the owner. If a stray animal wanders onto your property, kids should tell an adult immediately.
Also, teach kids the basics of which common animals, like snakes or lizards, are harmless and which might bite or spread poison. Explain some basic animal safety rules, such as not making sudden movements if confronted by an angry dog.
#6. Know your neighbors and neighborhood
Kids will naturally want to explore beyond their backyards. If you live in a neighborhood with a lot of kids, this can be a great thing, but be sure you and your kids know your neighborhood first.
For example, kids should be familiar with their nearest neighbors’ rules for having kids from other houses in their yards. If someone in your neighborhood has a play apparatus like a trampoline, every kid who plays at that house should be briefed on safety, and parents or older siblings should always be on hand to supervise.
In an age-appropriate manner, familiarize your kids with what areas are safe or unsafe, and stress that they are not to leave your property without a parent or parental consent. Neighbors should exchange phone numbers and other information if their kids will be playing together frequently.
Spring and summer mean it’s time for kids to have fun outdoors again. However, outdoor play also equals a need to be more vigilant about safety. These tips can help keep everyone safe and calm, and give your family a carefree summer.
Information credited to Jay Fencing gate operators in Toronto.
Latest posts by Kara Masterson (see all)
- Pharmaceutical Production: How Companies Design and Produce Medication - October 12, 2016
- The Spooky Holiday: 6 of the Very Best Things About Halloween - October 5, 2016
- 5 Unique Ideas to Give Your Home a Country Charm - September 19, 2016