Vacations should be wonderful times of family fun! But just like your parents always said – it’s all fun and games until somebody gets hurt. Always make sure your kids are playing in safe environments. Here are some common hazards to look out for.
Your family is together on the beach, enjoying the sand and the gentle tides without danger in sight. What could go wrong? Actually, quite a bit. Any child, anywhere, in any outdoor setting – the beach, the park, a backyard, even in the snow – can get badly sunburned. The sun is a slow but effective danger. It might not be obvious because it’s a slow burn, but fifteen minutes after the fun is over and your child may realize that it hurts to put a shirt on. Sunlight can even cause third-degree burns, especially if it is summertime and several hours are spent outside. This results in blisters and peeling. Over the years, exposure to the sun can even cause skin cancer. No matter what, make sure to always use fifty SPF sunscreen, and treat burns with aloe vera.
Kids can also have their fun quickly interrupted by having an unpleasantly surprising run-in with pests or dangerous animals. Of course, this doesn’t happen often – most people don’t have feral dogs running around their neighborhood (but if you do, police your kids accordingly). But that doesn’t mean that kids who take turns whacking trees with sticks won’t sometimes accidentally discover a hornet’s nest, or that they won’t step on a nest of fire ants. Learn to recognize the common pests of your area and know what they do. Wasps and hornets can sting multiple times, unlike bees, so they will be a lot more harmful to a small child.
Kids love to play hard – and there’s nothing wrong with that. But even the most well-meaning kids can have accidents. Make sure to set specific boundaries on where and how hard the kids are allowed to play. Hitting, biting, kicking, and punching should be prohibited. Make sure that nobody is poking others in the eye with a long, sharp object. Avoid letting kids play roughly over concrete or other surfaces that could really hurt or do damage. This includes rocky areas and areas with trash that could be harmful (like broken glass and sheet metal).
Playing outside is one of the simple joys of being a kid. And an adult, for that matter! But it’s important to use common sense. Be situationally aware. Know what the common dangers are and how to do first aid for children. In nine out of ten cases, nothing will happen – and in that last case, you’ll be ready.
Check out this article on how your children can healthy establish independence!