Summer is a god send for most parents. Finally, the cold and dreary weather is behind us, and the (albeit brief) warm weather is upon us. If you’re a parent, then you understand the frustration of being couped up indoors and the sigh of relief when you can let your children stretch their legs, adventure, and tire themselves out!
However, with the freedom of summer comes an increased need for safety and observation. With that in mind, the team at Des Moines Pediatrics came up with 8 summer safety tips. Keep your kids safe, and give yourself some peace of mind while you’re at it!
Make Supervision a Priority, Especially Near Water
No, supervision doesn’t necessarily mean hovering over your children. However, you should always supervise your child when they are near water, whether it’s at the pool, beach, or any other water-related activity.
Dress Them in a High-Visibility Swim Suit
Dress your child in a bright-colored swimsuit so they stand out in the water. Avoid blue swimsuits, as they can blend in with the water, making it harder to spot your child.
Practice Frequent Sunscreen Application
In Des Moines Iowa, the UV index is at it’s highest between the months of June through August. That said be sure to apply sunscreen with a high SPF (Sun Protection Factor) on your child’s exposed skin before heading outdoors. Reapply every two hours, especially after swimming or excessive sweating.
Keep your child hydrated by encouraging them to drink plenty of water, especially during hot summer days. Dehydration can be a serious concern during outdoor activities. You may even want to consider electrolyte mixes (with low or no sugar) if you’re going to be out in the sun for a prolonged period.
Invest in Water Safety Education
Teach your child basic water safety rules, such as never swimming alone, staying within designated areas, and not running near pools or on slippery surfaces. A child doesn’t even need to know how to swim to stay safe in the water—treading water or floating can be vital skills that are teachable to young children.
Make Use of Life Jackets
If your child is not a proficient swimmer, ensure they wear a properly fitted U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket while participating in water activities or when on a boat.
Apply Bug Protection
Protect your child from insect bites by applying insect repellent containing DEET (for children over two months old) or using natural alternatives recommended by pediatricians. If you’ve been in the woods or in grass, then be mindful of ticks and do a full-body tick inspection at the end of the day.
Consider Sun Protection Accessories
In addition to sunscreen, provide your child with other sun protection accessories like wide-brimmed hats, sunglasses, and UV-protective clothing to shield them from harmful UV rays.