Warm weather bring lots of fun outdoor activities. Here are 5 ways to make sure that your family stays safe this spring while still getting outside.
1. Check Helmet Sizes
Children grow. Sometimes helmets are outgrown just over the winter, so checking them for size is a good idea. We realized our youngest just outgrew her helmet while getting ready to take the first bike ride of the season.
Helmets significantly decrease head injuries in cases of a fall from the bicycle or from collision with a car. Wearing helmets is a good idea any time riding bikes, whether on a trail or on the street. Try everyone’s helmet on now that its warm, just to make sure they’re good to go.
2. Smart Sun Exposure
Sunburns can happen even in the Spring. This is especially true in the Southern states. For time outdoors greater than 20-30 minutes, start wearing sunblock with SPF 15 or higher, especially between 11am and 2pm when the sun is the strongest.
Much of the sun exposure that leads to skin cancer happens during our childhood years. It can be hard to catch kids while playing but don’t forget to reapply every hour or two during the middle of the day and while swimming.
3. Watch for Bees
With the beautiful flowers come bees. Allergies can develop even when previous exposures have not caused symptoms. Decrease your chance of being stung by not wearing fragrance. Watch for areas of the yard with flowering plants and shrubs.
Children and adults with known allergies to bees should ask their doctors about carrying epinephrine pens for life threatening reactions.
4. Teach Pedestrian Safety
Spring means more people and families are walking for recreation or exercise. Children may also be playing in the neighborhood. Pedestrian injuries from cars are a significant cause of injuries.
In 2012, over 75,000 pedestrians were injured. Those more at risk include young children and those above the age of 65. To decrease the chance of being hit by a car, teach children to use crosswalks, cross at intersections, use sidewalks when available and walk facing traffic.
5. Prepare Home Windows
Opening windows when the weather warms seems second nature. In a report from the 2015 Safe Kids Worldwide Report, over 3000 children are injured every year from falling out a window.
Always watch children around open windows. Window screens will not protect children from falling out a window. ASTM-approved window guards or simple window locks should be used to keep windows from opening more than 4 inches. Remove furniture from around windows that children could climb to reach the window.
Hopefully with these tips, your family will safely enjoy the warm weather!
J Lee Jenkins, MD, MSc, FACEP is a practicing board-certified emergency physician and researcher in emergency public health. She can also be found on twitter (twitter.com/jleejenkins).
Information on this web site is provided for informational purposes only. This blog is not intended to provide personal medical advice. As always, please consult with your personal doctor prior to making any changes to your health regimen.