Your Guide to Outdoor Safety for Kids

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On the one hand, you want to keep your children safe, but on the other you want them to enjoy their childhood by playing outdoors-which can be dangerous. Luckily, the two aren’t mutually exclusive. With a few quick and easy actions, you can protect your children when they are outside.

Teach them safety

Eventually, your child will be old enough to play outside your yard. While it’s beneficial to give an older child a little independence, it can be nerve wracking to let them play without your supervision. The best way to keep them safe when you aren’t around is to educate them. Teach them to only play on the sidewalk or grass and make sure they know to look both ways before crossing the street. Make sure they know never to get into a car with an unknown adult and to come home if they feel unsafe. Educating them on “stranger danger” will keep them safe from child predators.

Fix your backyard

Safety starts at home, so before letting your kids play outside, make sure your yard is safe. There should be a fence around your child’s play area. Remember to lock the gates to your yard so your child can’t open them and wander into the street. Place small barriers (such as a small fence or piece of chicken wire) around any electronic devices such as air conditioners. In addition, make sure to lock your shed and garage-the tools you store in them could be dangerous if your child tries to play with them.

Use safety equipment

It is a fact that bicycle helmets save lives, so make sure your child wears a helmet whenever they ride a bike.. When skateboarding or rollerblading, children should always elbow and knew pads in addition to a helmet, as these areas are likely to bear the brunt of any falls.

When buying dirt bikes for kids, it’s important to pick the correct size. A child riding a bike that is too big or small may lose control, and at faster speeds this can have disastrous consequences. Even with a proper sized bike, make sure to purchase special equipment such as padded jackets and specialized helmets designed specifically for dirt biking.

Dress them appropriately

In the summer, make sure that your children wear light, loose fitting clothing and plenty of sunblock; kids won’t notice when they start to sunburn, which can lead to a dangerous and painful second degree burn. In addition, make sure your child stays away from forested areas where they can pick up ticks, which carry illnesses such as lime disease or even the plague.

In the winter, your child needs to dress in layers. This not only helps them stay warm, it helps keeps ice and snow from getting their clothing wet.

Michelle Schoffro