Summer Safety for Active Families

Reduce risk and maximize active, outdoor fun with these summer safety tips.

Active, outdoor play is one of the best things about summer, but since it brings risks, being aware of summer safety is important. Seasonal favorites like swimming, biking, summer camp, and just exploring outside all bring big benefits in terms of physical activity for kids (and often adults too). These safety guidelines can lower your family's risk of summertime injuries and illness. Know them, enforce them, and make sure other caregivers do the same.

Swimming Pool Safety

summer safety: at the pool
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Whether you have a pool or visit one, follow these pool safety rules every time. While swim lessons are important, they don't offer surefire protection against drowning.

Sun Safety

Before you hit the beach, pool, or backyard, make sure you're aware of the latest sun safety advice. Hint: It involves sunscreen, and lots of it. But that's not the only way to protect yourself and your children.

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Bike Safety

summer safety: bike safety rules
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As soon as she's tooling around on her first tricycle, your child should know and follow bicycle safety rules. That way, they'll be second nature once she graduates to riding a two-wheeler.

Playground Safety

At your child's school playground, the local park, or your own backyard, follow these playground safety guidelines from the National Program for Playground Safety (NPPS) to lessen the risk of falls and other injuries sometimes caused by playground equipment.

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Using Insect Repellents Safely

Kids hate being bothered by bugs when they play outside, and mosquitoes can carry dangerous diseases. But the thought of smearing little ones' delicate skin with harsh, chemical insect repellents makes some parents uneasy too. The American Academy of Pediatrics has recommendations for the safest ways to keep bugs away.

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Heat Illness Prevention

Summer safety: Hydration during outdoor sports
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To prevent heat stress and dehydration in your child or teen, follow this advice on how best to keep kids cool. Athletes practicing or competing in very hot and humid weather are especially at risk. Make sure your child's coaches and camp counselors are following it too.

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Sports Injury Prevention

While youth sports have undeniable benefits, they also have risks. Every year, kids suffer millions of sports-related injuries, from sprains to concussions. To keep your child safe, know the dangers.

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Hydration Tips

Kids under 8 years old need a little less fluid than adults, but they should drink healthy beverages with meals, plus sip water any time they are thirsty. If they are playing or exercising vigorously, or if it's very hot outside, they'll need more liquids to make up for what their bodies are losing to perspiration.

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Sports Camp Safety

Safety should be a priority at every summer camp, and it's especially important at a sports camp. Good coaches and program administrators know that the risk of sports injuries can be minimized through proper coaching techniques and use of safety equipment. Make sure the camp's policies and procedures are up to date (especially when it comes to concussions) and are enforced 100% of the time. 

The camp should have an emergency plan in place, and staff should be trained in first aid and CPR. Find out if there is an athletic trainer, nurse, doctor, or other medical professional on site.  Also look for a low camper-to-coach ratio, which will provide better protection for your child. 

Inspect the facilities for safety and cleanliness. Kids and teens sharing locker rooms, showers, and dormitories can be susceptible to methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infection. The best way to prevent MRSA transmission is through good hygiene.

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