Kid on RollerbladesWelcome to summer! Summer is a wonderful time of year.  It is a time for family vacations or picnics. It is also a time for kids to play and enjoy outdoor activities. However, outdoor fun carries many risks for injuries from safety hazards.

Here are some things to think about this summer so that your family can be prepared.

  • There are lots of injuries involving bicycles and skateboards. Be sure your kids wear protective pads and helmets.
  • Take the sun screen. No matter where you go and no matter what age you are, keep a bottle of sun screen in the car or in a bag to be sure it goes wherever your family goes.
  • Do you have teens? Talk to them about drugs, alcohol, and sex. There is a lot of unsupervised free time in the summer. Teens may experience more pressure to experiment with drugs and alcohol or pressure to have sex at gatherings where there is no supervision. Talk to them handling these situations before they happen. This will help prepare them and what they will say and do if they are faced with a difficult situation.
  • Think water! Water is so important for to us hydrated when we are hard at work or play in the heat. Water can also pose many dangers. Make sure children are always supervised at the pool or the lake. Make sure they have plenty of water to drink to keep from getting dehydrated.
  • There may be times, especially in the summer, when your kids have to be home alone. One of the most important things they need to know is to never answer a door to a stranger when they are home alone.
  • Monitor Internet use! This is an issue all times of the year, but children and teens may be spending more time online during the summer. Talk to them about the sites they are viewing. Make sure they know not to ever post information online about being home alone or give their passwords to someone else. 
  • Take care at the playground. Supervise kids at all times while at the playground. Make sure younger children do not play on equipment that is not age-appropriate for them. Finally, make sure the playground has a cushioned surface beneath playground equipment like mulch or sand. 
  • Don't forget the bug spray! Insects and bugs can be more than just an irritation. They can cause allergies or be very harmful due to diseases they carry.

Source: Kerri Ashurst, Extension Specialist, University of Kentucky, College of Agriculture

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