Summer! It’s the best time of year to be a kid, with long sunny days and nary a care in the world, as school is out and it’s time for bike riding, beachgoing, pool parties and backyard barbecues. But as every parent knows, kids on the go don’t always think of safety first. We’ve put together a few reminders to help make this summer one that keeps your children happy and safe.

Before leaving home

  • Sunscreen is the key to keeping kids from ending up with burned, even blistered skin, be it built into the clothes they are wearing or applied straight to the skin. Don’t wait for the moment when you’re out in the sun already, get yourself and your kids into the habit of applying SPF30 or above while still in the house, and don’t forget those vulnerable spots – tops of the feet, back of neck and ears, and even where the hair is parted. And remember to reapply after sweating or swimming and every three hours to ensure full protection.
  • Bug spray is also most effective when applied (and allowed to dry) before hitting the great outdoors. Know the risk of bites and stings and keep applying later if there’s biting insects on the prowl.
  • Pack up the water and plan to keep hydrated all day long. Remind your kids that there’s no summer exercise that doesn’t include water; even swimming in it means your muscles need it to recover and keep you going. Use belt clips, fanny packs with water-holder slots or find other creative ways to allow children to carry their own bottles while hiking, visiting theme parks, boarding, biking, etc.

Out to play

  • Modern kids should find helmets as easy to wear as a hat, which means teaching them to do so from the moment they learn to ride a scooter, bicycle, skateboard or any other moving form of entertaining speed. Check that your child hasn’t grown out of the helmet you’ve got, for a well-fitting helmet protects best.
  • Riding on the street means learning the rules of the road, so be certain that kids know the basics of safety, hand signaling, and above all, understanding that vehicles of any size always have the right of way.
  • Swimming in pools, lakes, rivers or oceans have the inherent danger of drowning or accident, so keeping close watch on children who cannot swim is imperative. Teaching kids to swim as early as possible alleviates the chance of drowning; and remember to teach them to never dive into any body of water if they are unsure about the depth of the water. Feet first means safety first! 

In case of accident

  • While preventive measures certainly reduce the risks of summer fun turning into summer accidents, having a plan of action in case of a problem is key to peace of mind for parents. Having a renowned healthcare system like Hoag Health as an Orange County stalwart since 1952 means getting top-notch help when emergencies happen brings peace of mind to parents. With two acute-care hospitals (in Newport Beach and Irvine) and 14 urgent care centers across the region, the award-winning medical teams at Hoag are always ready to make certain that any child who is injured in any way gets the best treatment possible. As the highest-ranked hospital in Orange County, Hoag’s medical professionals know just how to alleviate a kid’s suffering and to get him or her back out and playing during the halcyon days of summer.