10 ways to keep kids safe this summer
Summer is all about family adventures, outdoor activities and fun in the sun. It's also the time when most injuries happen to kids. Before you head outdoors, take the time to review the following simple but important ways to keep your kids safe this summer:
- Be prepared. Pack a summer first-aid kit to keep in your car or wherever you go.
- Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. Being active in the heat means our bodies need more water. Hydrate before, during and after activities. Remember: Little ones dehydrate fast.
- Actively supervise your kids around water — always. Drowning is a leading cause of death in children. Teach water safety and sign kids up for lessons so they know how to swim.
- Always use sunblock. The worst sunburn occurs when you least expect it! Stock up on SPF 30+ sunscreen and keep it in your car, purse and backpack. Reapply it often.
- Keep bugs at bay. The best protection comes from a repellent that contains between 10—30 percent DEET. Bug bites are itchy and uncomfortable, but they can also cause infection and disease.
- Protect their heads. Make sure kids wear a helmet that fits properly when riding anything with wheels: bikes, scooters, skateboards, skates and other vehicles. Add knee, wrist and elbow pads for added protection.
- Dress appropriately. Before you head outdoors, check the weather for rain and storms. Wear long pants, sleeves and socks when camping or out in the woods. Insist on appropriate shoes for safety.
- Teach fire safety. While grills, fire pits and campfires are all part of the summer landscape, they can be very dangerous. Establish a 3-foot, "kid-free zone" around all fires and talk about the dangers.
- Know poisonous plants. A sure way put a damper on summer fun is a bout with poison ivy. Learn to identify plants like poison ivy and poison oak. If you believe your child has eaten or had skin or eye contact with a poisonous plant, call the Wisconsin Poison Center 24—7 at 1-800-222-1222.
- Don't let your guard down. We all know accidents happen, but we can prevent many from happening by actively supervising our kids. Whether around water, fire, on the playground or in the woods, stay distraction free and keep eyes and focus on kids at all times.