The weather is warming up and kids are ready to get outdoors! While swapping iPads and computers for swing sets and bike rides is great, there are some important things to remember as your kids head outside to play. Check out some of these tips below, particularly related to keeping your kids safe while you do yard work, playground safety, bike safety and pool and water safety.
Keep Kids Safe During Yard Work
- Keep children out of any work area where you're using outdoor power equipment, including lawnmowers, weed trimmers, edgers, chippers, shredders and log splitters.
- If a child enters a work area, turn off any outdoor power device at once.
- Don't let a young child operate or play with outdoor power equipment, even when it's not in use.
Try these tips for playground safety at the park, at school and at home.
- Always supervise your child. Keep an eye on your child at all times, no matter where he or she is on the playground.
- Teach your child how to use all equipment safely. Make sure he or she understands your rules for the playground and follows any posted rules.
- Have your child wear sturdy, closed-toe shoes while playing. Avoid sandals, flip-flops and bare feet.
- Remove necklaces, scarves and drawstrings from your child’s clothing, as well as bicycle helmets before playground play. These can become tangled with playground equipment and be a hazard.
- Check the temperature of playground equipment. For instance, in hot weather, make sure monkey bars and metal slides are not too hot to touch.
Teach Kids Bike Safety Rules
The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests these bike-safety guidelines for children:
- Establish rules on where a child is allowed to ride, and where else is off-limits. Rules should be based on the child's age, maturity and ability to follow basic rules of the road.
- Mandatory rules should include riding with traffic, always stopping at intersections, using hand signals and looking carefully before turning.
- Every time children ride, they should wear government-approved bike helmets that fit properly.
- Don't allow kids to ride at dusk or in the dark.
- Parents should regularly inspect bikes for wear and make repairs as needed.
- Never leave your child alone near any body of water (this includes bathtubs and swimming pools).
- Learn cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and infant and child first-aid.
- Don’t rely on personal flotation devices (PDFs) or swimming lessons to protect your child.
- Install childproof fencing around swimming pools.
- Make sure you have rescue equipment, a telephone and emergency phone numbers near the swimming pool.
- Insist that your child wear a U.S. Coast Guard-approved personal flotation device on boats at all times.
- Don’t allow children to dive into waters less than 9 feet deep.