Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Guest Post: How to Keep Kids Safe when Playing Outdoors this Summer

Today's guest post is written by Bridget Sandorford, who is a freelance blog and culinary writer! (More information on her below the article!) 
How to Keep Kids Safe when Playing Outdoors this Summer

Summer is a great time of year to get outside and have fun with your kids. Sunny days are great for playing in the pool, participating in sports, or just exploring nature. However, you can get too much of a good thing. The hot sun can lead to sunburn and heat exhaustion, among other things, and the warm weather brings out all kinds of bugs and creepy crawlers. While it might seem like a good idea to cool off in the water, that poses risks, as well.
It is important to stay safe so that your summer fun doesn’t lead to illness or injury. Here are a few tips for how you can keep kids safe when playing outdoors this summer:
Use Sunscreen
Before you ever step foot outside, make sure that you and your children are covered in a quality sunscreen that protects against both UVA and UVB rays. Even if it’s an overcast day, you can still be burned by the rays of the sun (though they are weaker). Little ones with tender skin will burn much more quickly and easily. A bad sunburn may not even be evident until a few hours after you have come inside, and the effects can be quite harmful for small children.
Apply Bug Spray
Ticks, spiders, ants, wasps, and other bugs are everywhere during the summer. They can bite and sting, causing painful welts, and some can even spread disease. Limit the risk of infection or even more serious side effects by applying a quality bug spray whenever you head outside for play. You don’t have to be near a wooded or grassy area to deal with bugs, so make sure you put it on any time you step outside.
Stay Hydrated
When your children are running around and having fun, they can forget to stop and drink some water. However, if they don’t drink enough, they could become dehydrated or even suffer heat exhaustion. Make sure you have plenty of water on hand and encourage your children to come over and have a drink at regular intervals. They may protest, but in the end, they’ll be safe and that’s what matters.
Take Plenty of Breaks
It may not seem that hot outside, but if you are spending a long time outdoors, your children can suffer heat stroke or exhaustion. When they are playing and running with friends, they will be expending a lot of energy, increasing their risk. Encourage them to slow down and take a brief break ever 20 or 30 minutes. Ask them to have a seat next to you, or give them a drink of water. Get them to tell you about what they’re doing, or show them something inside for a few minutes. Then let them back out to have fun.
Practice Water Safety
If you decide to cool off in the water, make sure you practice water safety. Whether you are swimming in a pool or playing on a water slide in your yard, there are risks involved. Always supervise your children when water is involved, and give young children life vests or floaties in a pool. Keep the area around the water clear off debris, which children may trip on and hurt themselves. Make sure the area has plenty of traction, as well, so that children don’t slip on the wet surface.
Make sure that your summer is a fun one by using these tips to keep children safe in the heat and to protect against bugs and accidents in the water. Your children will be ready to head back to school with great memories of the summer, not injuries.
About the Author:
Bridget Sandorford is a freelance blog and culinary writer, where recently she's been researching online culinary school. In her spare time, she enjoys biking, painting and working on her first cookbook.

Photo credit:Photo credit: shanidov / Foter / CC BY-NC
Title: Head in the sand

Photo credit: shanidov / Foter / CC BY-NC

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