Safety is always a concern for parents. This is especially true during the summer months, when kids are running around outside and generally being more active than normal. Last year, I decided to make a "Summer Safety Kit." The grab-and-go kit was convenient to use, so I’ll restock it for this summer.
I picked up a cool plastic lunch box to use as a container (it’s also a good use for one that’s been outgrown) and filled it with the following items:
• Alcohol swabs
• Antibacterial hand cleanser
• Cold pack
• Cotton swabs and cotton balls
• Emergency phone numbers
• Insect repellent
• Plastic adhesive bandages in a variety of sizes
• Small pair of scissors
• Sterile gauze and wipes
I keep these common sense tips in mind when the kids are playing outdoors:
Do a tick check every night. Insect repellents with DEET can reduce the chance of tick bites, but use it sparingly on kids, because it can be toxic. Stick to repellents with 20 percent concentrations of DEET.
Light-colored clothing is cooler and makes it easier to see bugs--like ticks--on the kids. When playing outdoors, close-toed shoes are best. And too-loose clothing can catch on playground equipment, so be careful.
Never leave kids unattended in a pool. Ever.
Helmets and pads should be worn when kids are biking, rollerskating, or skateboarding. Make sure the helmet fits properly and isn't too snug or too loose.
Sunblock is important even on cloudy days, because the sun's UVA and UVB rays can penetrate through the clouds. Apply SPF 30+ sunblock around 15-30 minutes before heading outside.
Stay hydrated! Kids are more prone to heat-related illnesses than adults are, so keep water on hand whenever they are playing outdoors. Take a breather during the hottest part of the day, too.