Summertime Safety Tips for Toddlers
Ah, the dog days of summer. The next few months will be filled with a lot of fun, from summer camp activities to family vacations. But that doesn’t mean all safety rules go out the window. In fact, it’s more important than ever to ensure your child is properly supervised during this season. Whether you’ve entrusted child care professionals to look after your toddler during summer programs or you’ll be watching your little one yourself, here are some essential summertime safety tips to keep in mind.
Prioritize Sun Protection
The sunlight might feel nice on your skin, but don’t forget about the danger it can bring. Exposure to harmful UV rays can lead to sunburn, which can increase your child’s risk of developing skin cancer. Use a broad spectrum protection sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher to protect your child’s skin. Apply thoroughly and frequently, particularly after exercise or swimming. If you’ve chosen to send your child to a summer camp for toddlers, make sure to send along a container of sunscreen with them and discuss reapplication methods with instructors.
And while it may be hot, lightweight clothing and accessories can provide a shield from the sun. Encourage regular hydration and time spent in the shade. You should watch for the signs of heat-related illness to safeguard your child’s health when the temperatures soar.
Monitor Water Activities
Spending time in the water can be an excellent way to stay cool — but summer camp activities like swimming can also come with their risks. In fact, drowning is the second-leading cause of unintentional injury related death for children between the ages of one and 14. Whether at camp or at home, your child must be monitored while near or in the water at all times. Distractions (like phones, tablets, or books) should be eliminated when supervising children around water. You may also want to look into enrolling your toddler in swimming lessons to promote water safety; learning CPR yourself can also help in the event of a water-related accident. Keep in mind that inflatable toys and water wings will not keep your child safe from a drowning incident. If swimming or water park visits are included in your child’s summer camp activities, you’ll want to discuss these opportunities with staff members to make certain training and supervision are granted to your satisfaction.
Prevent Bodily Injuries
Summer is a time for play, but injuries can occur when children take risks. If your child is playing on playground equipment, conduct a brief visual inspection to ensure ground surfaces are soft and well-maintained and that equipment is in good working order. If your child is playing a sport, equip them with safety garments. When using a bicycle, roller blades, or a scooter, helmets and other protective gear should be worn. In general, you should always keep a first aid kit on hand and teach your child to be cautious. Your child should be closely supervised while using playground equipment and sports equipment, as well as when playing, at all times.
Keep Bugs at Bay
Summer bugs aren’t merely a nuisance; they can also carry major diseases that can put your child’s well-being at risk. West Nile virus, Lyme disease, Zika, and other conditions can easily be transmitted by mosquitoes and ticks. If your child is spending time outside, whether it be in your backyard or while partaking in outdoor summer programs, insect protection is essential.
Insect repellent should be applied as directed. If you’re going camping or your child’s summer programs involve spending time in wooded areas, you and other adults must check for and remove ticks; if any are spotted, seek medical attention. You can make your yard inhospitable to ticks and mosquitoes by removing standing water and debris, mowing the lawn frequently, and keeping animals (like deer) out of the yard with fencing. However, if you spot wild possums in your area, it’s good to encourage their presence, as they provide natural pest control without an increased rabies risk.
Keeping your child safe during summer isn’t always easy. But if you keep these tips and mind and talk to the staff running your child’s summer programs, you’ll gain valuable peace of mind while emphasizing the importance of your toddler’s well-being.