Summertime equals outdoor adventures for many children. While playing outside is an excellent pastime for children of all ages, it’s important to teach them how to be safe at the same time.
Teach children to:
Establish safe play areas. Teach children that it is not safe to play in the street, and if their toy or ball goes in the street, to have an adult retrieve it. Limit younger children to play in the front or backyard at first and expand the boundary as children get older.
Never wander off alone. Remind younger children to always stay within range of supervision. Older kids hanging out with their friends should stay with the group.
Be aware of the environment and surroundings. Common play areas like a field and playground can hold hidden safety hazards, so it’s important to examine these areas before playing in them. Keep an eye out for sharp objects, damaged playground equipment, broken glass or other dangers.
Be mindful of the weather. Even sunny days can experience rapid, unexpected weather change. If it starts storming, children should return home or seek safe shelter.
Hydrate. It’s almost guaranteed that children playing outdoors are going to sweat profusely. Teach them about the dangers of dehydration and the importance of replenishing with water and not sugary drinks.
Always wear sunscreen. Remember that sunscreen needs to be reapplied often, especially if you’re at the beach or pool, or if you’re sweating.
Wear the proper clothing and equipment for the sport or activity. Thin-layered, long-sleeved clothing is ideal for outdoor activities. It allows for breathability while still protecting against the sun, bugs, scratches and more. When going for a bike ride, always wear a helmet.
Apply bug spray. When hiking through the woods, bug spray is a necessity. And after spending a day in the outdoors, check for ticks.
Ask permission before going swimming. Ensure that they never swim without a responsible adult present.
Never eat or drink anything you find outdoors. Children are naturally curious and they might come across berries or plants, but cannot tell what is safe to eat and what is not.