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Stay Safe This Summer

The warm summer months provide the perfect opportunity to encourage your children to exercise and play outdoors. But by following just a few simple rules, children can stay safe and parents can ensure a relaxing and enjoyable summer.

It's important to protect a child's skin from harmful sun rays by utilizing a sunscreen with a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of at least 15, reapplied every two hours as well as after swimming. Keep an eye on temperatures and encourage plenty of water breaks to avoid dehydration. Sunglasses and a brimmed hat are also great tools for staying cool.

In any summer activity, safety should be of the utmost importance and swimming is no exception. Discuss with children the importance of having an adult nearby. Parents should also stress how dangerous jumping or diving into unfamiliar waters can be where it is unknown what lies beneath the water's surface or just how deep it is. Additionally, life jackets play a crucial role in keeping children safe around water?even if just sitting in a boat.

Ensure that your child wears the appropriate safety equipment when participating in "wheel sports" such as bicycling, in-line skating and skateboarding. Helmets should sit flat on the top of the head?never tilted back?with the chin strap securely fastened. Knee and elbow pads and glove and wrist guards will help protect skin and bones in the event of a fall.

Summer weather also allows children more time at playgrounds, where safety measures are equally important. Avoid dressing children in clothing that has strings, which may get caught in equipment, and make sure children wear appropriate shoes to protect from slipping on equipment or injuries caused by woodchips or stones. Take the time to go over safe play rules like taking turns, and emphasize that children need to be aware of their surroundings?recognizing things that could potentially harm them, such as moving swings.

As the adult, be sure to set a good example for children by following the safety tips you give out and attending a local course in CPR and first aid so you have the ability and knowledge to help your children or others if needed. By keeping safety at the forefront of everyone?s mind, these safety measures will become second nature.

*Consult with your health care provider before beginning any diet or exercise plan.