Summer is a great time for kids to be outdoors enjoying themselves in a variety of ways. But for all the summer fun that your kids want to have, they also need to be safe as summer is the perfect time for viruses to breed in open spaces. As a parent, you need to ensure that your kids are safe from all kinds of dangers. Here are some tips to keep your child safe this summer:
How your kids can be safe at home:
1. In an emergency: Teach your children how to contact you in an emergency. Let them have your mobile number, house address, and neighbors’ names written down and stuck on the fridge door. Better still, let them memorize it.
2. If someone knocks on the door: If there’s a knock on the door at an odd hour, teach your kids to answer with, “Who’s there?” without opening the door. They should not keep silent because that encourages burglars to break in.
3. How to firefight: If there’s a fire, your kids should know how to deal with it, so show them where to leave the house from in case there’s a fire. Also, show them how to open the windows if they are equipped with iron bars or have special locks.
4. Kids in the kitchen: Teach your kids the basics of easy cooking–things that they can do on their own and enjoy eating. You can help by planning their dishes from day to day, but let them create each dish.
5. How to raise an alarm: If you have a burglar alarm installed, teach them to use it so that they can raise this alarm when in trouble.
6. Have a gate around your swimming pool and lock it: If you don’t gate and lock your pool, your kid could very likely jump in it and perhaps even drown. Ensure that it’s locked until you open it for your kids’ use.
How your kids can be safe before they leave home:
7. Ensure they apply sunscreen before they leave home: Studies have proved that kids who don’t use sunscreen in summer and get sunburned have double the chances of developing melanoma. So, it’s best they use sunscreen with SPF 30 or more about 10 minutes before heading for the outdoors.
8. Stress the importance of wearing a helmet: Make sure that he doesn’t just wear a helmet, but that he fastens the strap tightly too, even if he hates to do this.
9. Protect them from insect bites:Summer’s when insects breed in large numbers in places like yards, gardens and parks. If your child is outdoors playing, he needs to be safe by wearing insect repellant so that he doesn’t get bitten by bugs, leading to infection. Long-sleeved shirts could protect him from insect bites and the hot sun.
10. Check that your kids wear sunglasses and a cap or a wide-brimmed hat: Together, these will protect him from the sun’s dangerous UV rays. His eyes too will be safe from retinal damage.
11. Is the playground equipment safe enough to use? Check whether the play equipment in the park is properly fixed in the ground and that no part of it seems to be giving way. Also, see if the surfaces of any of the play stuff are hot and might burn your child’s bare hands or legs or be a danger of some sort.
12. Does your kid wear a bicycle helmet that meets the required standards? Check to see if your child’s helmet fits him properly. Also, ensure that it has a sticker of the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) that proves its safety for kids.
How your kids can be safe from the scorching sun:
13. Dress them in light colors: Since light colors absorb heat better during the summer and causesweat to evaporate, dress him in light colored clothes.
14. Keep your kids in the shade: Try to keep your kids out of direct sunlight, especially during peak hours from 12-4 and instead engage them in indoor activities during that time of the day. Evenings are best for recreational activities, especially for kids playing outdoor games.
15. Let them leave home with a full bottle of water: A bottle of water that he can sip from time to time will keep him hydrated in summer. And if they are going to be playing in the outdoors, they will sweat too, so replenishing their body salts with water is imperative. Water also helps to get rid of all body toxins and provide the necessary fluidity for proper blood flow.
16. Liquids can be energizing: Provide your kids with fresh fruit juices, buttermilk, lemon juice or coconut water to replenish fluids lost due to perspiration.
17. Keep them away from junk food: Don’t play with your kids’ digestion by allowing them to eat junk food and street food. Instead, present them with fresh fruits whose antioxidant properties will help prevent dehydration.
18. Cordon off the grill area of your home: Your kids know that when you’re grilling food, it’s sure to be hot. But what they may not know is that it continues to stay hot for a long while after you’ve finished using it.
19. Don’t delay eating picnic food: If you do, it will lead to food poisoning, especially if the food involves milk, poultry, fish, mayonnaise, etc. If you’re in the outdoors on a picnic, don’t waste time. Eat before you play games.
20. Keep a first aid kit ready: No matter how careful you might be, yet children could have mishaps, whether at home or out of it. To prevent any serious injuries to your children, take your first aid kit with you.
21. Wash all fruits and veggies: If you keep your store-bought veggies and fruits without washing them, they will be sitting ducks for food poisoning. Once you wash them, keep it out of the glare of natural sunlight to preserve their freshness.