Hot Topics     Home and Family     Healthy Kids    

6 summer safety tips for children



From one of America's most trusted pediatricians, Dr. Harvey Karp

6 summer safety tips for children


It's summertime, and the living is easy…for kids, at least!  For parents, all of that playground, pool and frolicking can bring seasonal worries…ranging from scrapes and sunburns to more scary stuff, like drowning risks. However, by following a few common-sense safety tips, you can all enjoy some fun in the sun! 

Suit up with sun protection.

Slather up toddlers and big kids in sunscreen if you'll be outdoors…and reapply it every two hours! To properly cover your child's body, you need to use about an ounce of sunscreen (that's about a shot glass worth!) For a kid's face, you need about a half a teaspoon. Use mineral sunscreens when you can, and steer clear of aerosol spray sunscreens, which can cause coughing and wheezing in kids.  Babies under 6 months shouldn't wear sunscreen at all. Protect your lovebug in other ways: Find a shady place to sit, use a stroller canopy and dress your little one in a sun hat and loose-fitting clothing that cover their arms and legs. 

Protect your little ones from mosquitoes (and other pests!)

Bug bites are on the rise…and with that, so are bug-borne diseases! If you'll be spending time outdoors in a spot also frequented by mosquitoes, ticks, or other creepy-crawlies, you'll want to make sure you're keeping your precious little ones protected. Keep bug bites away by wearing clothes they can't bite through (long sleeves and pants, in woven fabrics), and avoid peak hours for bugs (this tends to be evenings for mosquitoes). For infants, use a mosquito net—such as Shoo, which securely attaches to SNOO to keep out pests. Try avoid using chemical bug repellants…but if you must, apply it to your clothes instead of your skin (and really try to avoid using it on little kids and babies!)

Practice water safety.

Children under 5 are at the greatest risk for accidental drowning deaths, and research shows that many of these deaths happen when parents are distracted. An adult should supervise children at all times when they're around water, and never leave children unattended in the pool for even just a few minutes. Designate a specific person to be the pool supervisor…don't assume someone is keeping watch. Also, you can't rely on a child's flotation device or toys to keep your child afloat. However, you should make sure rescue equipment is on hand and accessible in the pool area. And of course, it's wise to enroll your child in swim lessons—and yourself in CPR training. 

READ MORE: Splash into safety this summer

Be ready to childproof on-the-go.

Though lots of fun for parents, vacation homes and hotel rooms aren't always the most baby- or toddler-friendly destinations. As you're packing your suitcase, make sure you throw in a few childproofing tools, including socket covers or bandage tape to cover outlets and cotton balls or bumpers to use on sharp corners. When you first arrive at your destination, get down on hands and knees to give yourself a baby's-eye-view of the place. This will help you notice—and prevent—hazards like loose change that could be a choking risk, furniture that isn't properly anchored, or dangling cords.

Create a summer first aid kit.

Summertime means endless exploring…but all of that frolicking tends to come with more boo-boos than usual. Be prepared for an uptick in scrapes, splinters, sunburns, and other minor injuries by making a kit with a few extra supplies…like some extra bandages, ointments, sunscreen, pain reliever, aloe, etc. 

Stay hydrated!

We know that it's important to stay hydrated when it's hot outside! Kids under 8 need about 4 to 6 glasses of water a day (more if they're active!). Offer water with meals and snacks and be sure to pack a water bottle if you'll be away from home. And for babies who can't yet have water, that means making sure they're getting plenty of breastmilk or formula.



Other articles by HVP News Reporters


  • Guilt-free, superfruit snacking

    Sweet treats made to permissibly indulge

    For many, enjoying a small indulgence can serve as a reward for a job well done or a mood-boosting pick-me-up. In fact, mindful snacking is on-trend for a majority of consumers. read more »
  • Getting healthier starts wth your feet

    Start your wellness goals from the ground up

    Good foot and ankle health is critical for good overall health, so no matter what your wellness goals are, be sure to start from the ground up. read more »
  • Dangerous heart conditions often go undetected in pregnant and postpartum women

    A torn ACL revealed an undiagnosed heart defect

    National Jewish Health experts advocate for screenings to detect heart conditions that may develop in otherwise healthy women read more »
  • Bald Eagle viewing in winter

    Watching them can offer an exhilarating and memorable experience

    Winter is a great time to view bald eagles in New York State. Viewing from a safe distance and at established observation sites can offer an exhilarating and memorable experience. read more »
  • Yes, you can raise healthy, smart, kind kids in a screen-saturated world

    "The Mediatrician" helps guide parents on Safer Internet Day

    Raising children in a screen-saturated world elicits fear, hope, and questions from parents, educators, and healthcare providers. The best thing to happen this year on “Safer Internet Day,” is the launch of “The Mediatrician's Guide”, developed to deliver those critical answers. read more »
  • Looking for a new career?

    Become a financial planner

    Becoming a financial planner offers both financial rewards and the chance to help others. Whether you’re a recent graduate exploring your career path or a mid-career professional seeking change, this growing profession may be the right fit for you. read more »
  • How to prep the night before the SAT or ACT exam

    Calm your nerves and enter the testing site with confidence

    Taking the SAT or ACT exam is the culmination of months of test-specific preparation, and in truth, years of schooling. While knowing that can feel like a lot of pressure, there are steps you can take the night before the exam to calm your nerves and enter the testing site with confidence: read more »
  • 7 Valentine's Day date ideas to break from the norm

    Think outside the box this year

    If you’re feeling pressure to plan the perfect Valentine’s Day date, it may be time to veer away from tradition. While flowers, chocolates and dinner for two is a classic, thinking outside the box can make for just as romantic of an experience. read more »
  • Helping infants, toddlers and families thrive

    The child tax credit is a critical policy vehicle

    A bipartisan package that recently passed in the U.S. House of Representatives, would expand the child tax credit (CTC). As the Senate decides whether to follow suit, advocates press that the CTC is a critical policy vehicle to help all infants, toddlers and their families thrive, and it should be implemented as soon as possible. read more »
  • What to look for when you need a law firm

    Savvy advice from Best Lawyers

    Let’s face it, no person or business gets a thrill out of hiring a law firm. Fortunately, peer-reviewed rankings have simplified the process. read more »