Staying Cool In The Summer: Summer Safety Tips For Kids

June 10, 2015

The final school bell has rung, the pencils, notebooks and laptops packed away, and the kids are ready for summer! Are you? Summer break always sneaks up on parents—not the kids of course; they’ve been counting down all year.

But with the end of school, comes some special seasonal precautions that both you and your children should keep in mind to ensure a safe, healthy, and enjoyable summer.

Kids, Cars, and the Heat

Your car can get as hot as an oven, as proven a couple of years ago by Toronto Police Service Detective Jeff Bangild who baked cookies in his car during a heat wave to remind people of the dangers of how hot the interior temperature in a car can actually get. But it doesn’t take a heat wave to be dangerous. According to Safe Kids Worldwide, even with temperatures in the 60s (about 15°C), the inside of your car can reach temperatures of well over 110 degrees (about 43°C).

Despite this, a Safe Kids survey found that 14 per cent of parents admit to leaving a child in a car and 11 per cent admit to having forgotten a child in a car.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration offers the following tips, precautions, and reminders to help parents and caregivers stay mindful this summer:

  • Never leave a child in the car, even for a minute.
  • Before locking the door, always look in the vehicle—front and back.
  • Ask your childcare provider to call if your child doesn’t show up for care as expected.
  • Place your purse or briefcase in the back seat to ensure no child is accidentally left in the vehicle.
  • Teach children that a vehicle is not a play area. Lock the car and store keys out of your child’s reach.

Curious Kids and Hazards Around the Home

With more time on their hands, kids have a funny way of, well, getting into mischief. They’ll get into things without your knowing or seeing. Consider, for example:

  • The liquor cabinet;
  • Cigarettes, cigars or pipes;
  • Medications (prescription and over-the-counter);
  • Cleaning products;
  • Lawn mowers;
  • Your car keys or remote entry.

Take an inventory of all the grown-up stuff in—and around—the house that you don’t want the kids near, and make sure that the dangerous stuff is out-of-reach or locked up.

Two Wheelin’: Safe Biking

Summer season means biking, which means there are way more cyclists on the road, especially children. As a driver, slow down and be on the alert—especially in residential areas—for kids on bikes who may not have gotten the hang of the road. As a parent, your young cyclist is probably itching to get riding, but remember:

  • Bicyclists under the age of 10 should not ride their bikes on the road.
  • Buy a bike that’s the right size for you child; they should be able to straddle the bike with both feet on the ground.
  • Buy a helmet that fits; when your child shakes their head from side to side and back and forth, the helmet should not move around.

Don’t forget, your child will emulate what you do, so lead by example. Always wear your own bicycle helmet and obey the rules of the road. Your children look up to you and they are watching.