During Spring and Summer as the weather warms up the risks
of dangers increase as children spend more time outside at play.
Follow a few simple safety tips when your children are playing outside.
See our range of child accident prevention picture books.
Because children have more free time during the Summer months they have a tendency to experiment more and take more risks.
Playing in the sun.
Very young children should not be exposed to direct sunlight, even for short periods of time. Mid-day is the most dangerous time when the sun is at its strongest and chances of sunburn or heat stroke are increased.
It is advisable to drink lots of water to prevent heat stroke. During Summertime heat, your water intake should be doubled. Warning signs of heat stroke include high body temperature, red skin with no sweating, rapid pulse, headache, nausea or confusion. If you see these signs, call for medical assistance and cool the victim by moving him or her into the shade and bathing them with cold water.
Warning signs for heat exhaustion, which is less severe but can lead to heat stroke, include heavy sweating, paleness, muscle cramps, weakness, headache, nausea or fainting. Help the victim cool down and seek medical help if symptoms become worse.
A study in America showed that it takes just five sunburns to double a child's risk of developing skin cancer later in life. Although still relatively rare, the incidences of melanoma in children, the more serious form of skin cancer, have more than doubled in recent years.
- Sunburn creams are not always sufficient protection for children. They should be made to wear clothing and a hat to shade the face and neck during very hot weather as well as good sun creams with a high .
- Avoid exposure to ultraviolet sun rays during the peak hours of 10am to 4pm, particularly during mid-day when the sun is at its hottest.
- Also use products with a SPF (Sun Protection Factor) value of 15 or above,even on cloudy days. Don't forget children's skin is far more sensitive than adults'. Second-degree sunburns can lead to severe blistering, infection and dehydration.
- Never leave children inside a car as this is known to have caused deaths in hot weather. 52 hot car deaths were reported in 2019, 23 in 2020 and a record 53 deaths in 2018.
In the Playground
Playgrounds are great fun but can pose a threat to your children. Make sure the surface under the equipment can prevent harm in the case of a fall. Wood chips are good but concrete is not for child safety activities.
Recommendations for outside child safety.
- Never play with playground equipment when it is wet.
- Clothes with drawstrings or loose straps can catch and cause strangulation.
- Make sure swings are made of canvas or rubber, and slides are not so hot that they will burn a child's legs.
Insect bites and stings.
Summer is the time when there is an increase in insect populations and activities, especially during warm weather. Avoid attracting insects by not using scented soaps, perfumes or hair sprays.
Avoid shady areas near stagnant water where insects tend to poliferate.