May 31, 2017
In a couple of weeks, the first half of the year will officially be over. That being said, the month of June is National Safety Month. The month of June is also when summer officially starts, and warmer weather always means more outdoor activities for children, like bike riding. As we start to enjoy the warmer weather, we can take steps to keep everyone safe while they’re playing outside.
The first step in being safe is protecting your skin. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends the best way to prevent sunburn is to limit time in the sun when the sun is strongest, which is midday. The next best option is to stay in the shade and always use sunscreen with a minimum SPF 15—even in the shade. Other ways of keeping your skin safe and healthy include wearing a hat, wearing long sleeve shirts and pants, and wearing sunglasses with UVA and UVB protectants.
You should apply sunscreen 30 minutes before exposure to the sun, and it should be reapplied every two hours, or after sweating or swimming.
Now that the first step of being safe is complete, the next step is being safe while playing. For many children, this means learning about bike safety. Maryland law requires all persons under the age of 16 to wear a helmet. Did you know that every year, about 300,000 children go to the emergency room for bike-related accidents, and about 10,000 of those accidents require staying in the hospital?
The numbers may be daunting, but according to BikeMaryland.org, wearing a helmet can prevent injuries and make bike-riding safer for children. Here are a few ways to get your young ones to wear their helmets:
- Start the habit of wearing helmets early, whether they are on their own bikes or passengers on adults’ bikes.
- Set a good example by wearing a helmet, too.
- Tell your children why you want them to wear helmets. Example: You love them and want them to be safe.
- When they do wear their helmets, reward them.
Keep these tips in mind and enjoy the summer!