Summer Sun, Fun, and Safety

Fun in the sun is often a coined phrase during the bright days of summer, but in order to keep the good times rolling it’s important to inform your children on important safety tips to keep them outside while avoiding any type of serious injuries. Summertime brings a lot of excitement to kids mostly because school is out for the year, but also because it’s finally time for them to go outside and get involved in all types of activities. While those activities might bring pure joy to them, those activities can also lead to potential injury risks due to the increase in physical activities. The injury risks are not intended to strike fear in parents, but the intention is to keep the parents informed while at the same time instilling preventative tips to help keep kids healthy and safe during the summer season. Supporting outdoor activity is crucial to a child’s development in their early years, so by all means parents should reinforce their child’s desire to play outside. The intention of this article is only to inform and assist in keeping a child’s summer experience a safe and fun one rather than one resulting in any kind of resistance to outdoor exposure. That being said, here are some helpful tips to follow to ensure a safe summer for your kids as well as a sane one on the parents behalf.

 

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The beach is a desired summer destination by so many that you will often find yourself lost in the craziness involved with a day at the beach. There’s something about the ocean that makes it so desirable to so many which results mass amounts of people flocking to one area. The high volume of beach goers does result in some potential risks for your children. Whether it’s a child getting lost in the sea of beach patrons, or being hit by a boogie or surfboard while swimming in the ocean, or just even a common injury like stepping on a sharp shell; there are many risks even at such a delightful place such as the beach. One very common injury risk is the swimming aspect based on the fact that it is much different to swim in the ocean rather than swimming in a pool. Ocean waves can overwhelm even the strongest swimmers so it is important for the parent to be aware of tides and currents while their children are in the ocean. Lifeguards will present flag markers by their stand,which will display how rough the current is throughout the day along with high and low tide times. Bringing plenty of water and food is also key to a safe day at the beach due to high temperatures and most likely a long stay that will require at least a meal and snacks. While it is wise to bring your own food and drink from home, making sure that the food is preserved correctly by bringing a spacious cooler and providing shade over the cooler to ensure it stays cold enough to store your belongings. Marine life is also another risk involved with a day at the beach, which just creates another thing for parents to be aware of. Jellyfish are a very common presence during beach season so parents be sure to keep an eye out for those nasty things. The beach is not the only place where injuries can occur during the summer season, but following these tips can help avoid a sad day rather than a happy one.

 

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Sports is just another great way for kids to get outside and play, but at the same time it is probably the highest risk of an injury for any child. Motivating a child to get involved with a sport offers a tremendous opportunity to develop social, emotional, and physical skills going forward. Keeping them safe is not always easy when children are participating in a sport, but it is the duty of the parents and coaches to do their best in an effort to keep them as safe as possible. Here are some tips to preventing injuries in order for the kids to continue enjoying the games and the parents to enjoy watching them play without the risk of injury clouding either one’s experience. Every child who intends on playing a sport must receive a pre-participation physical exam performed by either a private doctor or the doctor supplied by the school. The exam will help evaluate a child’s overall physical health and determine if there are any steps needed to be taken before there is any participation of the desired sport. Supplying your child with plenty of water is also very important in terms of proper hydration practices. Supplying the child with water is only the first step to keeping them hydrating, actually encouraging them to consume the water during practice or games is also very important. Children will have the tendency to forget to keep hydrated so keeping them focused on their hydration before, during, and after games is vital. Stretching before practice also can release muscle tension, which will help prevent any torn muscle during the duration of a practice. Coaches should enforce stretching as well before, during, and after games to prevent the muscle tendon injuries that have become more popular over the years with younger athletes. Children may be hesitant at first to stretching, but informing them on the importance of stretching can go a long way in their future. Playing multiple sports can also create problems due to the over exertion of muscle with the lack of down time caused by a lot of activity in between sports. Choosing one sport and focusing on that sport only can help a child’s long term involvement with sports because a break in season can help a child become stronger and develop more skills by avoiding overuse. The last step a parent can take to ensure a safe sport season is having a good rapport with the coaches involved with the team. Coaches are also responsible for keeping their players safe so when parents effectively communicate with coaches that can lead to an overall better experience for the children and parents.

 

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Even though a playground as the general appearance of a happy and safe place there are still several injury risks. Falls are by far the most common type of playground injury, which account for more than 75 percent of all playground-related injuries. Unfortunately, lack of supervision ranks after falls by accounting for approximately 45 percent of playground-related injuries. Those two numbers essentially go hand in hand, but it is nearly impossible to always keep a close eye on a child while playing at a playground. We have constructed a list of tips that can help increase safety and decrease those fall statistics that parents can utilize while watching their children at a playground. Actively supervising children is a great way to keep an eye on them along with being involved with what they are doing. Occasionally, a child will call for their parent to come watch them play which is a great way to supervise as well as being a part of their activity. Another way to keep children out of harm’s way at a playground is inspecting the playground initially before taking them there. If the playground is supplied with shock-absorbing surfaces, such as rubber, that is a good indication that the playground can be considered safe rather than other types of surfaces. In the case that the child does fall, at least the surface will be more forgiving and decrease the amount of pain inflicted. Dressing a child appropriately for the playground is also a huge step in keeping them safe. Some clothes have the tendency to get stuck in the playground equipment if the clothes are too baggy. Lastly, constructing a child a proper playground behavior can benefit both a child as well as the other children at the playground. There can absolutely be no shoving, pushing, crowding while on the playground because that can create dangerous situations for all the children involved.

 

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These tips will help keep children safe and parents as level headed as possible during the hot days of summer. If followed correctly the chances of limiting injuries goes way up and so do the smiles while they are outside playing instead of inside getting treatment. When injuries do occur there is always Er Express Care to assist in treating a child of any ailments. Urgent care centers are the best form of treatment because they offer walk in appointments and shorter wait times than a typical hospital. Taking care of a child is a big responsibility, but utilizing these tips to keep your child safe this summer will brighten up anyone’s day.

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