Summer Safety Tips for Children

Summer is fun, but it can also pose health risks for children. Here are some safety tips to help make your child's summer a safe one.

Bike Safety

  • Protect your child's head. Make sure your child always wears a helmet that fits properly.
  • Check your child's bike to make sure the brakes work and the tires are fully inflated.
  • Adjust the seat to your child's height.
  • Teach your child to check for traffic before entering a street or intersection.
  • Show your child how to get off the bike at an intersection and walk it in a cross walk.
  • Explain the rules of the road to your child. Bikes are vehicles and must obey the same rules.
  • Teach your child the proper hand signals for left turn, right turn, and stopping.
  • Do not let your child wear headphones while riding. They will block traffic sounds.

Scooter/Skateboard/Skating Safety

  • Make sure your child has proper safety gear—a helmet, wrist guards, and elbow and knee pads. The gear should be used every time.
  • Teach your child to stay away from cars and other vehicles and to ride only on the sidewalk or paved off-road paths.
  • Make sure your child rides only during the day.
  • Do not let your child wear headphones while riding. They will block traffic sounds.

Water Safety

  • Do not leave children alone with any body of water, including a pool, bath tub, or spa.
  • Be within arm's length of young children who are swimming. You should know how to swim, be able to rescue someone, and do CPR.
  • Have your child wear a Coast Guard-approved floatation device. It should fit your child properly and be comfortable.
  • Have your child take swimming lessons. Keep in mind that even a child who knows how to swim is still at risk for drowning and will need to be watched.
  • Explain pool and water safety. Make sure your children do not run or play rough near water.
  • When swimming in open water, choose an area where there is a lifeguard.
  • When the depth of the water is not known, teach your children to go into the water feet first. Jumping or diving can result in injury.
  • Body parts and hair can be trapped in the pool drains. Be sure that the pool has drain covers or a filter system to release the suction.
  • Fence in all pooled areas with a locking enclosure. You may also want to get a pool alarm or rigid pool cover. Lightweight, floating pool covers do not keep people from falling in and no one should ever crawl or walk on them.
  • Be aware of the weather. Never let your children swim when there is lightning.

Sun Safety

  • Use sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or more. Apply to your child 20 minutes before going in the sun. Keep in mind that your child still needs sunscreen on cloudy days.
  • When able, dress your child in light-colored fabrics that cover exposed areas.
  • Make sure that your child drinks plenty of water.
  • Stay out of the midday sun. This is when the sun's rays are the most intense.
  • Have your child wear a wide-brim hat and sunglasses.
  • Do not leave children unattended in a car. Even days with temperatures as low as 57 degrees can lead to dangerous heat inside.

Backyard/Playground Safety

  • Always watch children when they are using play equipment.
  • Be sure that children are wearing clothing and shoes that will not result in injury.
  • When installing playground equipment, make sure it is free from things like walls and fences.
  • Teach your child safe play habits, such as sitting in the center of a swing and not twisting the swing chains. Also, tell your child to never walk in front of or behind moving swings.
  • Do not buy trampolines for home use. Rates of injuries from them are on the rise.
  • Keep children away from places where lawn mowers are being used. Do not let children ride on mowers.
  • Make sure your child knows that the grill is not a toy. Keep your child from playing near it.

Insect Safety

  • Make sure your child wears shoes. This will lower the risk of a bee or insect sting on the feet.
  • Use bug spray sparingly on older children and do not use it on infants. Wash it off as soon as your child comes indoors.
  • If your child gets hives or wheezes after an insect sting, it may be due to an allergic reaction. Get medical attention right away.
  • Check your child for ticks. If you do find a tick, remove it:
    • Use a pair of tweezers to grab the tick by the head or mouthparts as close to the skin as you are able.
    • Pull directly outward, gently but firmly, with steady even force. Do not twist the tick out. Try not to crush the tick's body or handle it with bare fingers.
    • Do not put a hot match to the tick or cover it with petroleum jelly, nail polish, or any other substance.
    • After you remove it, swab the site with an antiseptic to lower the risk of infection.
RESOURCES:

Consumer Product Safety Commission
https://www.cpsc.gov

Safe Kids Worldwide
https://www.safekids.org

CANADIAN RESOURCES:

About Kids Health—The Hospital for Sick Children
http://www.aboutkidshealth.ca

Canada Safety Council
https://canadasafetycouncil.org

REFERENCES:

Bike safety. Kids Health—Nemours Foundation website. Available at: http://kidshealth.org/en/kids/bike-safety.html. Accessed July 6, 2021.

Sun-protective hats and clothing. Sun Safety for Kids website. Available at: http://www.sunsafetyforkids.org/sunprotection/hats. Accessed July 6, 2021.

Sunscreen FAQs. American Academy of Dermatology website. Available at: https://www.aad.org/public/everyday-care/sun-protection/sunscreen-patients/sunscreen-faqs. Accessed July 6, 2021.

Ticksmart prevention. The University of Rhode Island website. Available at: https://web.uri.edu/tickencounter/ticksmart. Accessed July 6, 2021.

Trampolines and trampoline safety. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons website. Available at: hhttps://www5.aaos.org/uploadedFiles/PreProduction/About/Opinion_Statements/position/1135%20-%20Trampolines%20and%20Trampoline%20Safety.pdf. Accessed July 6, 2021.

Trampolines: What you need to know. Healthy Children—American Academy of Pediatrics website. Available at: https://www.healthychildren.org/English/safety-prevention/at-play/Pages/Trampolines-What-You-Need-to-Know.aspx. Accessed July 6, 2021.

Water safety. Kids Health—Nemours Foundation website. Available at: http://kidshealth.org/en/parents/water-safety.html. Accessed July 6, 2021.

Last reviewed July 2021 by EBSCO Medical Review Board  Last Updated: 7/6/2021