Remember how amazing summer was as a kid? School ended and you had three months of pure, unhindered bliss. It seemed like you had an endless amount of time for adventures and exploring the wondrous outdoors. But do you also remember how much trouble you got yourself into?
For the most part, getting into trouble is a natural part of childhood. Unfortunately for parents, times have changed and there are more things to be concerned about than ever before.
That’s why it’s important to stress the importance of safety with your kids, especially while they’re outdoors. Before you let your children loose this summer, sit down and talk about these safety tips for their next adventure.
Outdoor Safety Tips
- Establish safe play areas. Let your kids know the street is not a safe area to be, even if their toy or ball goes there. The younger the child is, it’s best to limit their play area to the front or backyard at first, and expanding as the child gets older.
- Never speak to strangers. No matter how friendly someone seems, children should never speak to or go anywhere with a stranger. If a stranger approaches them, they should run away or head inside.
- Never wander off alone. Remind younger children to always stay within range of supervision. Older kids hanging out with 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, broken glass and other dangers.
- Be mindful of the weather. Kids should not play outside on days with forecasted thunderstorms. Even sunny days can experience rapid, unexpected weather change. If the weather does change drastically, children should return home or seek shelter – not under a tree.
- Remember to 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. It’s more important than ever to protect your skin from the sun and applying sunscreen is one of the easiest ways to do so. 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, if necessary. For older, adventurous kids who are hiking through the woods, bug spray is a necessity. Ticks carry harmful diseases, such as Lyme disease. After spending a day in the outdoors, always check for ticks.
- Never consume anything you find outdoors. Children are naturally curious and they might come across berries, plants or mushrooms while outdoors. Let them know that despite what they might have seen on TV, it’s not safe to eat anything they find in the wild.
We hope you and your kids have a safe and wonderful summer! Share any additional outdoor safety tips you might have in the comments below!