Five ways to keep your kids safe this summer break

June is National Safety Month, a month-long reminder to take safety precautions all year long.

Adult holding baby at beachWhile kids are enjoying sun, fun and never-ending Popsicles during the summer months, parents can gear up for the long summer days by keeping safety in mind to ensure a happy and safe experience to remember.

Swim safety
Pool days are a staple summer pastime. Kids will always remember the hours of splashing, playing games, learning to swim and pretending to be mermaids and sharks. Part of being a kid is enjoying carefree fun, which is why it’s essential that parents follow swim safety during each and every aquatic experience to keep kids safe.

Water safety involves comprehensive knowledge of all water-related situations and the ability to make safe judgments. The No. 1 rule of water safety is to always give 100-percent of your attention to supervising children in and near bodies of water. If possible, multiple adults should be designated “water watchers.” Parents should also be mindful of installing safety barriers around their pools and other sources of water.

Hydration
Hydration and summer go hand-in-hand, especially under the Arizona sun. Desert days in the Valley can surpass temperatures of more than 120°F. Avoid outdoor recreation on heat advisory days and during peak sunlight hours. Help to prevent rapid dehydration by enjoying activities during the time before 10 a.m. and after 4 p.m.

Always be aware of where shady areas are located and have emergency hydration liquid like Pedialyte handy for any situation. Encourage your child to drink plenty of water throughout the day, regardless of if they are participating in activities. Know which signs of dehydration to keep an eye out for symptoms including chapped lips, fussiness, extreme thirstiness and low energy levels.

Stranger danger
Whether traveling, visiting a public pool, attending an event or simply allowing your child to play in the neighborhood with friends, it’s important that you teach your child about “stranger danger.”

Avoid frightening-sounding statements while also teaching children to not follow strangers or take anything from them. Parents with children of any age must maintain constant supervision throughout the day. Never leave your children alone during the day’s events.

Summer parties and holiday awareness
Depending on the family, summer break can be packed with barbecues, pool parties, birthdays and holiday celebrations. Keep in mind that some children react differently than others when it comes to large crowds and excessive activities. Be sensitive to young children’s needs by being aware of nap time, snacks and energy levels. If your child is feeling tired or restless earlier than expected, it’s always okay to shorten the time spent at festivities and in crowds.

Travel safely
Summers can be filled with family vacations and day trips, which means parents can expect busy airports or roadways on the way to favorite destinations. When traveling, ensure that children have their own plane seats and that car seats are installed properly. It’s always helpful to have a travel first-aid kit on hand and to know where emergency equipment is located on airplanes. If your child old enough, make sure they have your phone number memorized in case of an emergency. Never let your child venture to a restroom alone or answer a visitor’s knock at your hotel room door.

For more tips and free child development support, call the Birth to Five Helpline at 877-705-KIDS (5437)
or download the Birth to Five Helpline app!

All content in this article, including any advice or commentary from Southwest Human Development staff and/or others, should be considered an opinion and is provided for informational purposes only. The content is not intended to be a substitute for medical or other professional advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the direct advice of your own trusted professional with any questions or concerns you may have regarding the child/ren in your care. Southwest Human Development does not recommend or endorse any specific tests, products, procedures or other information that may be mentioned in this article. You may contact Southwest Human Development’s Birth to Five Helpline at 1-877-705-KIDS (5437) to speak with one of our early childhood professionals for personalized assistance. Birth to Five Helpline specialists are available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.