Liz Parsons is a Community Nursery Nurse
Staying safe outdoors
So the summer is here and we are still restricted with where we can go and what we can do due to Covid-19. You may not have been outside that much so far this summer, but when you do go out for your walk or are able to take your children in the garden for a play there are a few things to be mindful of.
With the warmer weather here we’re spending more time in the garden, so there’s a few things to be mindful of.
Those paddling pools are great at keeping our children entertained and keeping us cool too if we fancy a dip! But never leave your child unattended around water, and always empty the paddling pool after use. If you have a garden pond then make sure it’s fenced off. A child can drown in as little as 5cm of water.
All this lovely weather has made our plants and flowers grow like crazy! As I’m sure you’ll have noticed, most things end up in the mouth of your toddler. Anything from toys and books to mud and grass! This can also include poisonous plants and berries. Be aware of what is growing in your garden and remove or securely cordon off any plants that you suspect could be poisonous.
Were also enjoying our BBQs when the weather is warm. These do remain hot for a long time after you’ve finished cooking so never leave your child alone near it. If you can, try to keep the BBQ where your child cannot get to it.
As we’re now able to travel a bit more you may find yourself heading out in the car. There are some points to remember when doing this:
- All children under 12 years old or who are under 135cm in height must use a child restraint (car seat or booster) by law
- Children should be kept rear facing until they are at least 15 months old
- Check the weight and height limit for your child’s car seat as they are all different
- Car seat safety is so very important, please take a look at the RoSPA website as they have all the info you need
When walking around, be aware of cars on driveways or in car parks. Drivers may not be able to see small children very clearly so it important to hold your child’s hand when around cars.
When we have lovely sunny days it's really important to think about sun protection for our little ones.
- Stay in the shade
It's a good idea to keep children in the shade in the middle of the day when the sun is at it’s strongest. Stay indoors if you can between 11am and 3pm, or use a parasol to provide some shade. If you’re out for the day try and find a nice shaded spot between these times. Don’t cover your baby or child’s buggy with a blanket or cover as this will raise the temperature inside to high levels.
- Wear a hat
Children should wear a sunhat that protects their face and neck whenever they're out in the sun. Wearing a hat yourself can help encourage your reluctant toddler to do the same.
- Sun cream
Make sure your little one wears sun cream that covers any exposed skin and don’t forget the back of their neck, the tops of their ears, their nose and cheeks and the tops of their feet. Choose a sun cream that has an SPF of at least 30 and keep topping this up throughout the day, especially if they’ve been playing in water.
- Drink plenty of water
Having access to water throughout the day, especially in warm weather, and encouraging them to drink regularly - particularly when they've been running around, will help to keep your little one hydrated.
For more information on safety outside, the CAPT (Child Accident Prevention Trust) website is brilliant.
Enjoy the outdoors and have fun, safely!