With summer just around the corner, most children will be spending more time outdoors in active play. While many parents are breaking out the sunscreen and the bug spray, here are a few safety tips you may not have considered:
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Model street smarts
With more people out and about during the summer months, it is a good time to review pedestrian safety with your child. Make sure they know to only cross with a responsible adult and to walk instead of run. If they see you crossing carefully, they will understand the importance a little better. Extra care should be taken when they are crossing between parked cars, and they should always make eye contact with the driver before crossing in front of him.
Buckle up those helmets
It is tempting to forgo the bicycle helmets when the days are hot and humid. However, helmets prevent serious injuries to children. Never allow them to ride without them, and they will be more likely to agree if they see you put on your helmet as well. Helmets are not just for riding bicycles, however. Any time your child is using “wheels” he needs the protection of a helmet.
Be aware while hiking
If you are going to take to the woods with your child, be sure you can identify poisonous plants such as poison ivy, oak and sumac. Protective clothing is a good idea, especially in areas where ticks are common. Make a habit of checking your child for ticks as you exit the woods.
The summer heat and sun are most intense between the hours of 10 in the morning and 6 in the evening. Offer your child drinks often and encourage him to avoid strenuous activity if he is playing during this time. If you wait until he says he is thirsty, he may already be dehydrated.
Brush up on dental safety
Summer sports can cause scrapes and bruises, but do not forget your child’s teeth. A mouth guard is essential for very active and contact sports. Just because your child is out of school does not mean he should slack on his morning dental hygiene routine. According to the Stevenson Dental Clinic, remind him to brush and floss regularly to prevent oral health issues later.