Summer Safety Checklist for Teens

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Summer vacation means teens will have more time to spend outdoors and more time to engage in physical activity. Although you can’t prevent all injuries and illnesses, you can take steps to prevent many safety problems. Here’s a checklist of items to have on hand to help you prepare for a safe summer with your teen:

Sunscreen

Sometimes teens are more interested in getting a tan rather than wearing sunscreen.

But, it’s important that teens protect themselves from harmful UV rays. Make it a rule that your teen apply at least an SPF 30 on both cloudy and sunny days. Reapply it after your teen has been swimming or participating in vigorous physical activity. It should also be reapplied every two hours.

Sunglasses, hats, and protective clothing are also great ways to prevent your teen from getting too much sun. Talk to your teen about the dangers of too much sun exposure and encourage limited time in the sun during the mid-day heat.

Helmet

If your teen is going to be riding a bike or going skateboarding, make sure that he has a well-fitted helmet. If your teen refuses to wear a helmet or insists it isn’t “cool,” explain the dangers of head injuries and insist that a helmet be worn. Also, make sure your teen is wearing a helmet if he’s riding on any motorized vehicles, like an ATV.

Bug Spray

If your teen is going for a hike in the woods, going on a camping trip, or you live in an area prone to bugs, provide plenty of bug spray. Bugs can be more than just a nuisance, they can be downright dangerous. Ticks, for example, can spread Lyme disease. Use bug spray with at least 20% DEET to gain the most effective protection from bugs and ticks.

First Aid Kit

It’s a good time of year to make sure the first-aid kit is fully stocked. Summer is bound to lead to some cuts, scrapes, splinters, and sprains. Make sure you’ve got the basics- Band-Aids, elastic bandage, adhesive tape, gauze, tweezers, and antibiotic ointment.

Water Bottles

A refillable water bottle is a good way to help prevent dehydration during the summer months. Encourage your teen to drink plenty of fluids, especially on hot days, or while engaging in physical activity. Schedule water breaks to make sure your teen is getting enough to drink and encourage breaks in the shade to prevent your teen from overheating.

Protective Sporting Equipment

Make sure that your teen’s sports equipment is in good shape. Check over bicycles, skateboards, or scooters before your teen tries it out. Make sure your teen has appropriate gear for each sport- shin guards, mouth guards, and appropriate shoes.

    Emergency Plans

    It’s important to have some emergency plans in place so your teen understands what to do in the event that an emergency does occur. Your teen should have a good understanding of how to contact Poison Control or call for an ambulance if necessary.

    It’s also important to talk about safety plans when he’s going places with friends. For example, if he’s going to the beach, talk about safety tips ahead of time. Set clear rules about your expectations and make sure your teen can handle the responsibilities of having more freedom.

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