Summer Safety for Young Children

Whether camping by a lake or playing at the park, keeping toddlers and preschoolers safe is a matter of vigilance and common sense.

Children love to spend time outdoors, and so they should. Outdoor play provides kids with a chance to get exercise and fresh air, but with toddlers and preschoolers accidents can happen and it’s important to ensure that our children are well protected and supervised.

From splashing in a playground wading pool to diving off a dock, one of the greatest outdoor activities for youngsters is water play. But when it comes to young children, water can easily lead to tragedy. Therefore it’s imperative that you “never let them out of your sight for a minute as they will disappear in a matter of seconds.” says Ken Burton with the R.C.M.P. who adds that “if you have a backyard pool the most important thing a parent or adult can do is make sure there are never unsupervised children around the water. They’ll throw toys in, then fall in and this often leads to tragedy.”

Burton says one of best ways of keeping kids water-safe is by having them learn to swim under the guidance of a qualified instructor through a recognized swim program. “Whether it’s a YMCA or Red Cross, or lessons at your community, get them out there in the water so that they feel comfortable and develop a good deal of respect for the water under controlled conditions.”

Another outdoor safety concern for toddlers and preschoolers is tricycles. While most of us think of tricycles as more toy than vehicle, in reality tricycles are a child’s first vehicle and need to be treated as such. A small tricycle can pick up a fair amount of speed, and when your child is close to roads, that can spell trouble. This is why you and your child will need to follow a few rules of the road, explains cycling and road safety instructor, Ray Hall. “If you’re going to put any young child on any kind of a wheeled vehicle that’s going to be going faster than walking speed, you need to be with them. As a parent you need to work with your child on their bicycle or tricycle. Keep them with you. Keep them beside you.”

And remember, if your child is going to be on a tricycle or any type of wheels such as scooters or roller blades, insist they don a helmet. Head injuries can led to permanent brain damage and even death.

Adapted from The Parent Report Radio Show. Any advice or information contained herein should never be a substitute for professional and/or medical advice, diagnosis and treatment. For more information please review Terms of Service.

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