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About Outdoor Safety for Kids

Updated November 21, 2016

Safety for your children when they play outdoors is essential. Whether your children are playing on playgrounds and outdoors, swimming in pools or playing in the sun, there are always potential hazards that can put your children at risk of injury. Simple measures can provide your children with plenty of fun while also keeping them safe.

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Playgrounds

Kids who play on the playground require constant supervision. According to Kids Health, nearly 200,000 children are injured yearly in playground accidents. If you're playing on a playground, always check equipment for signs of damage and safety. Make sure you can always see your children. Allow your children to play on surfaces made of softer materials such as cork or rubber. Concrete and asphalt materials increase your children's odds of getting injured. Check playgrounds for guardrails. If there is a sandbox at your playground, always check the sandbox prior to playtime to ensure that there isn't any broken glass or other debris within the box. If your children are too young to climb equipment, don't allow them to climb without your assistance and supervision.

Pool Time

Safe Kids USA says "830 children ages 14 and under die" from drowning. Children between the ages of 1 to 4 are more likely to die from pool drownings. If you have a pool, enclose your pool on all four sides with a fence. Install door alarms or pool alarms to alert you if your children have gone outdoors. Don't let your children swim without adult supervision. If your children can't swim, make sure they are wearing flotation devices. Always be within an arm's distance of your children when swimming outdoors with them. Once you're done with swimming activities, secure your gate to ensure that your children can't go back to the pool.

Sun Safety

Before your children ever go outdoors, lather them up with sunscreen. While some sun exposure is a good source of vitamin D, too much sun can lead to sunburns and heat exhaustion. Too much sun exposure can also lead to eye damage and possible skin cancer.

Heat Exhaustion Prevention

When your children are playing outdoors, it's important to watch for signs of excessive heat exposure. Make sure your children are staying hydrated during outdoor play. If you let your kids go outdoors, try letting them play during the cooler hours of the day (the morning and early evening). If you notice your children becoming flushed or excessively thirsty, it's time to bring them indoors.

Other Safety Measures

If your kids like to skateboard or ride bicycles, never allow your kids to ride without safety gear. This includes a helmet and knee and elbow pads. Always keep a first-aid kit close by, just in case your children get scrapes and cuts. If you go camping, carry along bug repellent sprays, first-aid kits and antiseptics. If you venture out into the woods, be sure to watch out for ticks. Check your children's ears, neck area, under their arms, legs, abdomen and tummy areas for ticks. Never let your kids venture off into the woods without you.

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