While summer is synonymous with fun, it can also present some health risks for your child. Here are some safety tips to help make your child's summer a safe one.

Bike Safety

  • Protect your child's head—make sure he or she always wears a helmet and that it fits properly.
  • Check the bike to make sure the brakes, reflectors, and tires are working.
  • Adjust the seat to your child's height.
  • Teach your child to check for traffic before entering a street or intersection by looking left and right.
  • Show your child how to get off the bike at an intersection and walk it in a cross walk.
  • Explain the rules of the road to your child. Bicycles are considered vehicles and must obey the same rules as motorists.
  • Teach your child the proper hand signals for left turn, right turn, and stopping.
  • Never allow your child to wear headphones while riding; headphones will block traffic sounds.

Scooter/Skateboard/Skating Safety

  • Make sure your child has the proper protective gear—a helmet, wrist guards, and elbow and knee pads—and that he or she uses the gear every time.
  • Teach your child to stay away from cars and other vehicles and to ride only on the sidewalk or paved off-road paths.
  • Make sure your child rides during the daytime only.
  • Never allow your child to wear headphones while riding; headphones will block traffic sounds.

Water Safety

  • Never leave children alone with any body of water (eg, pool, bath tub, spa).
  • As the supervising adult, be within arm's length of infants and toddlers who are swimming. You should know how to swim, be able to rescue someone, and do CPR.
  • Have your child take swimming lessons. Remember that even a child who knows how to swim is still at risk for drowning and will need constant supervision.
  • Never leave children unattended—even if they know how to swim.
  • Explain pool and water safety. Make sure your children do not run or roughhouse near the pool.
  • When swimming in open water, choose an area where there is a lifeguard.
  • When the depth of the water is unknown, teach your children to go into the water feet first. Jumping or diving can result in injury.
  • Body parts and hair can be trapped in the pool drains. Be sure that the pool has drain covers or a filter system to release the suction.
  • Fence in all pooled areas with a locking enclosure. In addition, you may want to get a pool alarm or rigid pool cover. If you use a lightweight, floating pool cover, be extra alert to the potential for drowning accidents. These covers do not keep people from falling in, and no one should ever crawl or walk on them.
  • Be aware of the weather. Never let your children swim during a lightening storm.

Sun Safety

  • Use sunscreen with at least an SPF of 15 and apply to your child 20 minutes prior to sun exposure. Even if it is cloudy outside, your child still needs sunscreen.
  • When possible, dress your child in light-colored fabrics that covered exposed areas.
  • Make sure that your child drinks plenty of water.
  • Try to avoid midday sun when the sun's rays are the most intense.
  • Encourage your child to wear a hat and sunglasses.

Backyard/Playground Safety

  • Always supervise children when they are using play equipment.
  • Be sure that children are wearing the appropriate clothing and shoes.
  • When installing playground equipment, make sure it is at least six feet from obstructions, such as walls and fences.
  • Teach your child safe play habits, including sitting in the center of a swing (not off to one side) and not twisting the swing chains, which can reduce the chain's strength. In addition, tell your child to never walk in front of or behind moving swings.
  • Because of the risk of serious injury, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that trampolines should never be bought for home use. Trampolines should not be considered a type of play equipment. If you do have a trampoline in your yard, the AAP cautions that you should not allow children to use it. Here are safety guidelines from the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission for families who want a trampoline in their yard:
    • Position the trampoline in a safe location. It should be in a clear area, away from trees and buildings.
    • Make sure that the equipment is safe. Check the trampoline for any problems.
    • Be sure that the trampoline has shock-absorbing pads. These pads should cover the springs, hooks, and frame.
    • Carefully watch any child who uses the trampoline. Only allow one child on at a time. The child should be aged six or older.
    • Do not allow the child to do any dangerous jumps, like somersaults. These types of jumps can result in head or neck injuries.
    • If the trampoline has a ladder, remove it. Small children could use the ladder to get onto the trampoline.
  • Keep children away from areas where lawn mowers are being used. Never allow children to ride on mowers.
  • Make sure your child understands that the grill is not a toy. Keep your child from playing near it.

Bug Bite Safety

  • Make sure your child wears shoes, this will help minimize the risk of a bee or insect sting on the feet.
  • Use insect repellent sparingly on older children and never on infants. Wash off the repellent as soon as your child comes indoors.
  • Check your child for ticks. If you discover a tick on your child, talk to your doctor about how to remove it.
  • If your child develops hives or wheezing after an insect sting, he or she may be allergic. Seek prompt medical attention.