Five Ways for Parents to Help Kids Stay Safe Outside in the Sun this Summer
With the kids out of school and no set schedule to follow, summer typically becomes the lazy season—but don’t ever get lazy with your kids’ safety.
While your kids are out enjoying their summer fun in the sun, here are five ways you can help keep them safe this summer.
1. Load up on UV Protective Eyewear.
Most of us choose sunglasses because they look good. For your kids, it’s about more than looks; more importantly they need UV protection sunglasses.
UV radiation from the sun can severely damage the cornea and lens of your eyes, as well as your eyelids. If not careful, too much UV exposure can lead to cataracts and macular degeneration. Children spend more time in the sun than adults in the summer, so proper UV protection is needed for their eye health and safety.
2. Install a Security Camera.
Unintentional drownings happen quietly and quickly. In the U.S., one in five people who die from drowning are kids 14 years old and younger, and for each child who dies, another five children receive emergency care for submersion injuries that are nonfatal.
Besides educating yourself and your family on water safety, another way to keep your kids safe while in and near your backyard pool is installing a home security camera. While you should always be there with your kids, sometimes you have to quickly run inside to grab an extra towel or bottle of water, or sometimes you’re inside and your kids try and sneak out to the pool before you’re ready. Having a security camera allows you to keep an eye on external doors and pool gates to prevent unintentional drowning.
3. Learn which Sunscreen Works for Members of Your Family.
The No. 1 way to be sun savvy this summer is using the right sunscreen. The general rule of thumb, according to the CDC, is to use sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15, as well as one that has UVA and UVB protection. You also should apply sunscreen at least 15-30 minutes before going outside and then reapply every two hours.
But there are other things to keep in mind. Choose sunscreen that has “broad spectrum” on the label. Sunscreen that says this protects against UVA and UVB rays, both of which contribute to skin cancer. If your kids have sensitive skin, use a natural mineral-based sunscreen. It’s also a good idea to have sunscreen that’s SPF 30 or 50 to apply to areas with thinner skin, like your nose and ears, to keep them better protected from the sun.
4. Never Leave Your Child Alone in a Car.
The temperature inside a car gets even hotter than what it is outside. A car’s inside temperature can rise 20 degrees in just 10 minutes, and it keeps rising every passing minute.
The dangers of leaving a child inside a hot car result in heat-related illnesses, such as dehydration and heat stroke. And you have to worry more about kids being in hot places because a child’s body heats up three to five times faster than an adult’s body.
To prevent leaving your child in a car, keep your car locked when you’re not in it so your kids can’t get in and put your cell phone or something next to them in the backseat so you don’t forget them. If your child accidentally gets locked inside a car or you see a child alone in a car, call 911 immediately.
5. Create a Safe Outdoor Place to Play.
Children naturally like to explore, and by creating a safe place for them to play outdoors, you can allow for this exploration, but in a more controlled way. For example, setting up a specific outdoor play area that you can easily monitor and have more control over can reduce some of the risks associated with outdoor play.
Establish boundaries with your child to help you ensure their safety when you are not around, and allow them to help you make some of the decisions around these set boundaries to make them feel more independent. By allowing them to participate, they are also more likely to listen and to follow the new set of rules.
Take a moment and review these other highly recommended tips for creating a safer outdoor place for your child to play.
As a parent, all you want is to keep your kids safe, and these five ways will help you do that this summer.