Every year when summer arrives children sprint to trampolines, swimming pools, and nearby jungle gyms for reprieve from long school years. Sadly, many summer activities are leading causes of accidents, injuries and trips to the urgent care. However, parents who are knowledgeable about the dangers of summer are likely to keep their kids safe. Here are the leading dangers each summer that parents know about:
Fun in the Sun:
5. Swimming Pools
While every good parent knows that a swimming pool poses a threat of drowning, few parents are aware of the other dangers. Swimming pools are dirty. Unless a pool is frequently cleaned by professionals, it can contain trace amounts of feces from un-showered children and babies in Little Swimmers diapers: this can lead to E. coli illness, which is sometimes lethal.
If that doesn't worry you as a parent, then this fact will: up to 58 percent of public pools contain substantial enough amounts of E. coli to potentially cause illness. Well-chlorinated pools will kill bacteria eventually, but the chlorine isn't immediate. Parents should teach children to shower before swimming. Additionally, parents should monitor younger children and take them to the restroom often, to avoid risk of accidents.
Trampolines are a lot of fun, especially when you add sprinklers to the mix. However, one slip or spill can lead to a broken bone or stitches. Covered springs and mesh fencing makes for a safer experience, but certainly don’t eliminate the danger. Parents should teach kids trampoline safety rules, and research the nearest urgent care in case of emergency.
3. Jungle Gyms
Falling from a jungle gym is not the biggest threat to a child's safety. These slick metal surfaces have been known to cause burns, metal splinters and even the spread of diseases. Check the temperature of a jungle gym and other playground equipment before your child starts playing. Inspect the area for hazards such as rust, which can lead to metal splinters and scrapes. Additionally, teach your kids to wash their hands before and after play.
Fun in the Sun:
2. Night Games
Kids love playing hide-and-seek in the dark, but it's not necessarily the safest time to play outside. If you allow your kids to play 'night games' with the neighbors, make sure the area is well-lit, and that your kids are within shouting-distance. That way, even if your kids do need a trip to the walk-in clinic for stitches or bruises, you'll be able to help them quickly. Set rules with the kids about not playing in the street, and checking-in at home often.
1. Sun Exposure
Summer is a great time to get the kids outside playing, but it also introduces sun exposure risks. From sun stroke to skin cancer, there is a lot to be aware of while playing outside. Remember to keep your kids slathered in sunscreen, and monitor them for signs of fatigue, dehydration, sun burn, and dizziness. To be safe, you can buy each child an exciting and fun thermos so that they will each want to carry water with them while they play in the sun.
By arming yourself with information about the dangers that abound each summer, you can prepare your kids. While this list is in no way comprehensive, it is a good place to start researching summer safety guidelines!