Did you know that June is National Safety Month? What a perfect time of year to raise awareness of how we can make safety a priority not only at school but at home too. During the summer months, children begin to spend more time outdoors. Playing outside is a great way to have fun and exercise, but it comes with some risks.
Did you know that falls are the most common type of playground injury, accounting for more than 75% of all playgrounds-related injuries? (CDC Playground Injuries)
The good thing is most injuries are predictable and preventable by recognizing hidden dangers around you.
Recognizing Hidden Dangers Outside:
- Active Supervision- Supervising children is essential during outdoor play. You will be able to quickly respond to your child’s needs and prevent any potential danger.
- Choose the right area for your child to play. Make sure that the playground equipment is age appropriate.
- Check the playground environment- Look for possible hazards, such as broken equipment and dangerous surfaces.
- Do not forget a helmet- helmets should be worn on all riding equipment, especially ones that require children to balance. In addition, set strict limits on where your child is allowed to ride and play outside.
- Sunscreen- Apply sunscreen at least 30 minutes before going outdoors, so it can absorb in the skin, followed by reapplying it every two hours. (The American Academy of Pediatrics Guidelines)
- Seek Shade- The sun is at its strongest between 10am -2pm. Limit the amount of time your child spends outside during this time. Choose play areas that provide shade. Do not forget a hat!
- Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate! - Young children cannot regulate their body temperatures well and need additional water when playing outdoors in hot weather. Be sure to provide regular water breaks to encourage your child to stay hydrated.
- Check Air Quality- poor air quality can affect children with asthmas and other health related concerns. (AirNow.gov)
With proper planning and recognizing the hidden dangers outside, you can set up an environment in which children can safely play during the summer months.