Common Summer Outdoor Dangers


Children tend to be vulnerable to certain outdoor dangers that can be avoided with a bit of proper supervision and forethought on the parents' part. During summer months make sure that you keep an eye out for the following dangers to keep your little one safe and sound: 
 

Sun Exposure

One pitfall that new parents fall into is letting their children out into the sun to play for long periods of time without proper protection. Young children's skin tends to be sensitive and can be damaged easily, which is why you should invest in protective sunscreen, clothing and shelter to shield your child from excessive sun exposure. Whether you're off to the beach or to the park, make sure you plan things through.

 

Solution: Sunscreen

Use a sunscreen with at least a 15 sun-protection factor (SPF) and has "broad spectrum" written on it, which means it protects against both UVA and UVB rays. Make sure you apply sunscreen 15-30 minutes before leaving your home and reapply it regularly every two hours; if your child is swimming, reapply the sunscreen the moment it gets out of the water or after towel-drying. You might want to consider buying waterproof sunscreen for such occasions. Don't forget to cover areas such as the tips of the ears, top of the feet, and the back of your child's neck.

Keep your child indoors during the hottest hours of the day, which are from 10am to 4pm. If you must send your child out to play, make sure it wears a hat and try to keep it in the shade. 

 
Dehydration

Dehydration is usually more of a problem during hot weather seasons when the body loses water more readily. Children tend to forget to rehydrate regularly, which makes them more vulnerable to becoming dehydrated, particularly if they're playing outside.

 

Solution: Adult Intervention

Children will need regular reminders to drink. Make sure your child has constant access to water and other liquids and encourage it to take water breaks after every hour of outdoor play.

 
Water

Never, ever leave your child unsupervised when there is a body of water or liquid near by or in easy reach, whether you're at a pool or in your own home. Children between the ages of 1 to 4 have been known to die of drowning in bathtubs, buckets, and even toilets, let alone pools. Drowning can occur in mere seconds, so never take your eyes off your child.

 

Solution: Constant Supervision

Whether at the pool, beach, or at home, the key to child safety around water is adult supervision. If you can't watch your child, make sure another responsible adult can take over the task for you until you can do so yourself. Never make the mistake of leaving your child unattended even if it's just for a few seconds. Responsible parents should take the time to learn CPR, which could come in handy at the least expected moments. When at the pool or beach, make sure your child is wearing floaters, but don't presume that these are enough to keep your preschooler safe. If you have a home pool, invest in secure fencing around all four sides of the pool. When at the beach, try to locate yourself close to a lifeguard and stay near your little one at all times.  

 
Playgrounds

Even though playgrounds are supposed to be designed for children, not all of them are suitable for young ages, and some might not be maintained properly. Playground injuries are not uncommon for children under the age of 5 years old, and most of these injuries result from falls.

 
Solution: Suitable Playgrounds

Make sure that the playground you take your child to is properly and regularly maintained and has special sections for younger children with age-appropriate equipment. Also, opt for playgrounds with soft ground surfaces, such as sand or rubber mats, as they can reduce the severity of injuries. Keep an eye out for poorly maintained equipment, such as open S-hooks on swings that can result in the swing slipping out or protruding bolts that children can run into.