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Summer is here and that means you and your family will be spending more time outdoors. We have some suggestions to help keep your children safe this summer.  

1. Water Safety 

It is important to teach children early about water safety. Teach safety around pools, lakes, rivers, streams, or oceans.  

  • Always swim in a designated swimming spot where lifeguards are present.  
  • Always swim with a buddy, never go out alone.  
  • Always have young children or inexperienced swimmers wear a life jacket.  
  • Never rely on water wings, swim rings, or inflatable toys to replace adult supervision.  
  • If you have a backyard pool, always have a fence in place to prevent unsupervised swimming or access.
  • Beware of slippery surfaces around water- such as rocks, docks, and pool decks.   

2. Hot Weather/Heat Safety 

Speak to children about how to protect themselves from the sun and how to avoid heat-related illnesses 

  • Sunscreen is important to protect against broad spectrum UVA/UVB rays. 
  • Layering and wearing sun protective clothing. 
  • Wearing sunglasses and hats to protect your eyes and face. 
  • Avoid peak times of the day to prevent sunburn and heat-related illness from sun exposure. 
  • Remember to stay hydrated when you’re outside in hot weather.

3. Plant Safety 

It’s important for children to be able to explore and get outdoors, being able to run and play. Teach children to recognize what plants are safe and which are dangerous. Let them know they shouldn’t eat any plant leaves, petals, or berries unless an adult gives them permission. For example, kids may mistake Azalea and Rhododendron for the Honeysuckle plant and try to eat the nectar but all parts of these plants are poisonous. 

Plants they should know how to recognize: 

  • Poison Ivy 
  • Poison oak 
  • Poison sumac 
  • Stinging Nettle 
  • Holly Berry 
  • Foxglove 
  • Bitter Nightshade 
  • Poison Hemlock 
  • Wild Parsnip 
  • Mistletoe berries   

 If you suspect someone has been in contact or eaten a poisonous plant. Call poison control for help. If someone is experiencing trouble breathing, swallowing, dizziness, low heart rate contact 9-1-1.   

4. Animal Safety 

Teach kids how to safely interact with animals both domestic and wild. Making them aware of wild animals, insects, and amphibians that are native to your area and may be harmful.   

Some helpful tips: 

  • Approach animals slowly and calmly. Animals may be startled by loud, high-pitched screams or noises and sudden movements. 
  • Never approach an animal that appears injured or sick. If you find or see an injured animal, let an adult know. 
  • Leave animals alone when eating, sleeping, chewing on a toy, or caring for their babies. They may become protective over their babies, food, or toys. 
  • Always ask permission before approaching a friend, neighbor, or acquaintance’s animal – even if you have played with the animal in the past. 
  • Avoid petting cats or dogs head or face. Stroke along the neck, back, and sides.  

By keeping these safety tips in mind, you will ensure that your children can enjoy the outdoors safely this summer. In addition to teaching your child about outdoor dangers be sure to teach them about household dangers as well.