Child Safety: Summer Safety Tips for Toddlers

Summer Safety

Safety Tips for Summer

Toddlers are natural explorers, a trait that makes them delightful companions—if you can keep them safe, that is. From fireworks to swimming pools, some of summer’s most fun moments can also be potentially dangerous with a toddler. 

We can’t predict or eliminate every potential child safety risk, nor would we want to. We know that allowing children to explore and take some risks is necessary for them to develop resilience and independence. 

Water Safety

Whether you’re at a lake, the neighborhood pool, or simply running through the sprinklers in the backyard, few things say summer like water play. Following a few important water safety tips can make a difference in keeping your child safe:

  • Always stay within an arm’s reach of young children in pools and lakes. 
  • At parties and gatherings near open water, be sure to communicate clearly about who will be responsible for watching your child. Adults at the gathering can also take turns being a “watcher” of the water in 15-minute increments.
  • Be aware of small bodies of water near you, such as irrigation ditches, creeks, backyard water features, and even buckets. Young children can drown in just a few inches of water.
  • Don’t rely on water wings or life jackets to keep your child safe in the water. 
  • Eliminate distractions like cell phones or reading a book while watching your child. 

Some parents, especially those with more than one child, opt to visit splash pads rather than pools while their children are very young. And finally, consider enrolling your child in swimming lessons. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends swimming lessons for young children, stating that while swimming lessons do not replace adult supervision, they may add an extra layer of safety. 

Sun and Heat Safety

Depending on your location, temperatures can soar in the summer! Children are more susceptible to heat stroke because their bodies heat up faster than adults. 

Keep children hydrated. Bring water on outings and encourage your child to drink all day long.

On the hottest days, play outside in the morning or evening when the air is cooler, and the sun is lower in the sky.

Dress your child in sun-protective clothing and use sunscreen with SPF on exposed skin to avoid sunburn.

Car Safety

Accident rates often peak in the summer when families hit the road for vacations. The first step to kid safety on the road is making sure your toddler is properly restrained in a car seat each time you turn on the ignition. 

Do not leave children unattended in the car, even for a minute.

Be aware of your surroundings as you enter and exit the car with your child to avoid accidental injuries involving another car.

Fire Safety

Imagine the world through your toddler’s eyes. At that height, he or she is especially vulnerable to burns from the oven, stove top, fireplace, fire pit, and barbecue grill.

Be sure to turn pot handles toward the back of the stove.

Keep your toddler at a safe distance from ovens, grills, and fire pits. Be especially cautious with fireworks. Do not let toddlers handle or hold fireworks, including sparklers.

Near a campfire, make sure your toddler is wearing shoes to avoid burns from hot embers on the ground. Keep lighters and matches out of your child’s reach.

Playground and Bicycle Safety

Skinned knees and elbows are hallmarks of childhood, but taking safety precautions can help avoid more serious injuries—especially head and neck injuries. Always supervise toddlers carefully on playground equipment. Children should wear properly fitting helmets and footwear when riding on bikes and scooters.

Remember, even the most conscientious parent can’t prevent every spill or bump, but close supervision is still the best way to reduce the risk of serious accidents. Make sure that every adult who cares for your child understands and adheres to basic safety rules, especially these summer safety tips. Keep emergency numbers close at hand and your first aid kit stocked. 

Be safe and enjoy the summer with your young child!

Bright Horizons
About the Author
Bright Horizons
Bright Horizons
In 1986, our founders saw that child care was an enormous obstacle for working parents. On-site centers became one way we responded to help employees – and organizations -- work better. Today we offer child care, elder care, and help for education and careers -- tools used by more than 1,000 of the world’s top employers and that power many of the world's best brands
Summer Safety