Injury Research and Policy Summer Safety Research :: Nationwide Children's Hospital, Columbus, Ohio

Summer Safety

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There are a number of ways to reduce the chances of injury while enjoying the summer sun.

For more information on fire safety, playground safety and diving safety, view the resources included on the right of the page.

Summer Safety Guide

Summer is a favorite time of year for many children - no school, warm weather, and maybe even a vacation. Help make sure your children have a fun, safe summer by reviewing some tips to prevent injury.

Playing Outside

  • Playing outside is a great way to have fun and exercise, but it comes with some risks.
  • Remind children that they must use a helmet every time they ride bikes or use skates or skateboards.
  • Young riders cannot be trusted to make smart choices about traffic. Children younger than 10 should use a bike path or sidewalk.
  • Although tree houses are great for adventure, falls from a height could cause serious injuries. Make sure the tree house is no higher than 10 feet in the air.
  • Falls will be less serious if the ground has a layer of protective surfacing. Cover the ground under tree houses, swing sets and play equipment with 12 inches of wood chips or mulch.
  • Backyard trampolines are not safe. Do not let your children jump on one.
  • Do not let children play close to the street. Teach them to never run after a ball or toy that has rolled into the street.
  • Set strict limits about where and when your children are allowed to ride bikes and play outside.

Sun Safety

  • Even though it’s nice to enjoy the summer weather, the sun and heat can lead to serious injuries.
  • The sun is the strongest between 10am-2pm. Limit the amount of time children spend outside during these hours.
  • Apply sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15 on your child 30 minutes before he goes outside. Reapply the sunscreen every 2 hours and after swimming or sweating.
  • Remember that sunscreen is needed even on cloudy days.
  • Have children drink a lot of water during the day to stay hydrated.
  • Limit intense physical activity outside on days that are really hot and humid.
  • Be aware that cars can reach very high temperatures in the sun. NEVER leave your child alone in the car, even for a minute.
  • Remember to lock car doors behind you. Children can climb inside unlocked cars, trapping themselves inside. This could lead to overheating and even death.

Swimming

  • Pools should be surrounded on all sides by a 4 feet high fence with a self-closing gate.
  • Children should only use the pool if an adult is watching them carefully. This means the adult is close enough to touch them and is not distracted by reading or talking.
  • Parents should set and enforce strict rules for the pool.

 

Fireworks

 

  • Families love watching fireworks on the 4th of July, but home fireworks cause many injuries.
  • Even sparklers, which some parents think are “safe” for kids, can reach temperatures of 1000 degrees F and easily ignite clothing.
  • Adult supervision cannot prevent all injuries.
  • Even if you do not let your child play with fireworks, he can be injured by someone else who is.
  • The best and only safe way to enjoy fireworks is to attend a public display by professionals.

 

Windows

 

  • If you leave windows open during the summer, remember that screens will not prevent falls.
  • Use window stops to prevent children from opening the window all the way and install window guards on all 2nd story windows.
  • Children might try to climb on furniture to reach windows. Keep all furniture pushed away from windows.

 

Other Summer Safety Tips

 

  • Do not mow your lawn while children are outside. They could be hit with a rock or stick thrown by the mower.
  • Keep lawn equipment locked up and never let children play with or on it.
  • Grill outside and away from the house. Never bring a grill inside the house or garage.
  • Check your yard for poisonous plants. If you are not sure what is poisonous, call 1-800-222-1222.

featured video

How to Prevent Pediatric Drowning In and Around the Home
Fireworks Safety Informational Video
Lawn Mowing Safety Informational Video
Portable Pools Video
Sun Safety Informational Video
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