The Great Outdoors offers lots of wonderful opportunities to explore and discover, and it also comes with some hazards.  A little bit of common sense and a few reminders will help you and your family have some exciting and memorable outdoor adventures.

Some general rules of thumb:

Plan Ahead:  Keep a backpack filled with a few essentials for going outside. Items you might include:

  • Sunscreen: choose a children’s product with an SPF of 30 or higher that shields against both UVA and UVB rays
  • Sunglasses, a hat, or visor to protect your skin against the sun.
  • First-aid basics (such as Band-Aids , antiseptic wipes, and antibiotic ointment)
  • Water bottle: kids need a drink every two to three hours (more often if they’re physically active or thirsty)  to prevent dehydration.

Once you are outside, remember:

Playground Equipment — Inspect outdoor play equipment to see if repairs are needed before allowing children to use it. Concrete is a hard place to fall. Put sand, woodchips or mulch under your swingset or play area. Make sure all the nails are flush if you are playing on a wood playground, and that all the screws are tightly screwed in so that knees, fingers and clothes don’t snag!

Pools & Running water — Never leave a child alone near water. Place tables and chairs and toys away from the pool . A child playing near the water could fall in. If at all possible, fence in permanent pools and install self locking gates with latches out of reach for little hands. Avoid streams, lake, ponds or other moving bodies of water during times of high rain – flash flooding can be very dangerous and the deep water can be very difficult for the children to swim out of.

Streets and Driveways — Set and enforce limits to children’s outdoor play areas. If possible, provide a fenced-in play area. Riding toys should only be used on sidewalks or other safe areas, never in the street.

For more safety hints

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