The warmer, longer days of summer are great for getting active and making lasting memories, but can also mean children encounter more risks.
Learning to take supervised risks and reach new physical milestones is an important part of their development. To help them do this as safely as possible, here are five key hazards to keep an eye out for this summer.
Whether you’re at the hotel pool or have an inflatable paddling pool in your back garden, water safety is always important. Young children should always have armbands or other float aids around deeper water, and of course, never leave them unattended.
Pool surfaces can get slippery, so making sure that they don’t run or play near the edge of the water is important to avoid any accidents.
Using room dividers and play pens can help parents keep their little ones safe and sound while spending time outside.
It’s also crucial to keep your kids’ delicate skin protected with high-factor sun cream and a hat. Even with waterproof formulas, it’s best to re-apply their sun cream after your little ones splash around in the pool as the water can reflect the sun’s rays and make them stronger. Always use a high SPF like 30 or 50 and opt for sensitive brands if your child is prone to any rashes or skin conditions.
Learning to ride a bike is a special milestone for your child and cycling as a family is a fantastic way to get active and enjoy the great outdoors. However, this learning process can also result in bruises and scraped knees!
Always kit your children out with the right safety equipment like helmets, knee or elbow pads, and for little ones just starting out on their bikes, a set of stabilisers to give them a helping hand.
Finding them the right bicycle is also key, as while they may grow out of it in a few years’ time, it’s important to have the right size frame and wheels for their height.
Sunny skies and longer days mean that you and your family will likely be spending more time at parks and playgrounds. Making the most of your local green spaces is a great way to get some fresh air and exercise, especially after a long winter spent mostly indoors.
Most playgrounds tend to be built with child safety in mind, but it’s still best to exercise caution to reduce the risks. While you can start to let older children play more independently as they grow up, little ones will still need close supervision.
It’s also wise to establish some ground rules about the things they can and cannot use, depending on their age and developmental stage — using equipment designed for bigger children can risk injury and, in turn, knock their confidence for trying new physical challenges.
Trampolines can turn your garden into your child’s very own playground. Not only do they appeal to children of a broad age range, but bouncing the day away can also help them burn off some energy before bed — which is a plus for most parents!
However, trampolines also come with their own set of risks: whether it’s colliding with other jumpers o falling off it entirely, there are a few ground rules and precautions you should set before use.
Firstly, it’s essential that children’s trampolines are fitted with a net, so that they can jump freely without the fear of falling. Secondly, children under the age of six should never use full-size models but instead use toddler trampolines, which hold one child at a time and have a safety bar for extra balance (Healthline). Finally, always follow the safety regulations on your trampoline and never exceed the weight or user limit advised.
If your summer plans involve family road trips, staycations, or holidays abroad, then another key consideration to make is your children’s travel safety.
Ensuring your little ones have the correct car seat for their age is not only crucial for their wellbeing, but it is a legal requirement too.
When you arrive at your destination, it’s also important to bring the right equipment ready to set up. For example, it’s likely that your toddler will need a travel cot to sleep in, so investing in a pop-up bassinette or an inflatable travel bed is a great way to ensure that you all get a good night’s sleep while also saving space in your suitcase.
Tips compiled by child safety experts at safetots.co.uk