Plunket’s top tips for keeping kids safe this summer

Summer is all about fun, family, friends and this year, wind, torrential rain and sun!  It’s also a time when sunburn and accidents are all too common. The top tips below have been put together to assist you keep your children safe while you’re making the most of the remaining summer months.

Sometimes we forget that babies and young children have little understanding of the risks associated with their actions –their brains just don’t get it yet!  It’s up to the adults to support, guide and be ready to protect when needed.

1. Make sure everyone is sun smart.

A few minutes of gentle sunlight is good for growing children and helps them produce vitamin D. However children’s sensitive skin burns quickly.

Remember to slip, slop, slap and wrap, and lead by example, littlies will copy you

Slip on a shirt, slop on some SPF30+ sunscreen, slap on a hat with a brim and wrap on some sunglasses. Sunburn can cause painful burns, lead to long-term skin damage, and bring a higher risk of skin cancer later in life.

Make sure everyone wears sunscreen and a sunhat on a cloudy day too - you can still get burnt on a cloudy day in New Zealand. It is also a good idea to use shade as much as possible and keep out of the hot sun between 10am-4pm.

2. Keep little ones safe around water.

Young children love playing in and around water and this is the perfect time of year to let them burn off energy.

Parents and caregivers need to keep a close eye on young children when they’re near water. Being aware of the water hazards, whether they be around the home, the farm the river, pond or sea is important and always stay within sight and reach of your child - whether they are in the bath, in the garden, at the beach or by a swimming pool.

At gatherings where there are lots of people putting an adult in charge of watching children swimming or playing in the water is a really good idea.

Make sure all swimming and spa pools are securely fenced and remember to empty paddling pools and turn them upside down when not in use.

3. Know where the kids are before getting in the car.

Always check for littlies behind and around vehicles before exiting the driveway, they’re too small to be seen so make sure they are well away and being supervised by an adult.

Watch the ‘Check me before you turn the key’ video from our friends at ACC and Safekids: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q3jUTCVZ-a0  

4. Keep poisons and chemicals out of sight and reach of inquisitive children.

Also make sure to stay with a toddler or young child while they explore outdoors. Have fun exploring together and take the opportunity to teach your child never to put anything from the garden into their mouth as some plants are poisonous. Many garden products are highly poisonous, including fertilisers and pesticides. Store poisons up high, out of reach and sight.

5. Car seats save lives, correct installation of the seat in the car and your child in the seat reduces the risk of injury.

Making sure your children are buckled into their car seat is essential.

Children are often travelling with different family or friends so it’s important their car seats travel with them.

Remember that the metal parts on buckles can get very hot in the sun, and that heat exhaustion is a real issue for children in hot summer months. The temperature inside the car heats up very fast in the sun, always take your child with you if you have to leave the vehicle, even for just a few minutes.

On longer journeys, everyone will benefit from occasional breaks to get some fresh air and move around. It’s a great idea to plan your journey to allow time for regular stops and activities so that the children, the driver and other passengers can have a break before they get too tired.

0 Comments Posted by Mamae Munn on 25 January 2018

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