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Five Ways To Keep Your Kids Safe & Healthy When Playing Outside

As safe as your kids are when they’re inside, you shouldn’t keep them indoors all the time. Kids will be kids. They love to explore and many don’t want to stay cooped up in the house all the time. 

Five Ways To Keep Your Kids Safe & Healthy When Playing Outside

There are some serious benefits of letting your kids play outdoors like:

  • Exposure to the sun, which means vitamin D
  • Opportunities to exercise
  • Practicing important skills, like troubleshooting and multitasking
  • Taking risks and developing confidence
  • Socialization with other children
  • Appreciation of the natural world

That doesn’t mean you should open the door and let your kids fend for themselves! There are things you can do to help keep your kids safe and healthy when they head outside. 

Rules for Riding a Bicycle

If your kid likes to ride a bike, it’s a good idea to provide them with safety rules. With 962 injuries and 18 bicycle deaths in 2018 in Pennsylvania alone, it could literally save your child’s life.

If you have a child under 10, they should ride their bicycle on the neighborhood sidewalks. Older children should be instructed to ride in the road as close to the curb as possible. They should also learn hand signals so drivers are aware of where they are turning. No matter what the age of your child, they should wear a helmet.

You may also want to provide your child with riding boundaries. For example, very young children may be allowed to ride on the sidewalk in front of the house, while older kids may be allowed to ride to school, but no further.

Boundaries in the Yard

The yard can be a great place to play! Whether you have a toddler who loves chasing squirrels or your older kids like having their friends over to play in the pool, it’s important to provide your child with boundaries in the yard.

Children should never go in the street unless they have your permission and you’re there to supervise them. That includes running into the street after a ball.

If you have certain areas in the yard that children need to stay away from, make sure your expectations are clear. It might include staying away from the pool unless they’re wearing a swimsuit, and never running through the vegetable garden.

Rules at the Playground

The playground can be a great place for kids to play! You just have to make sure your kids follow the rules so they don’t return home injured.

A few playground rules you should make sure your kids follow include:

  • No climbing up the slide if there are other kids on the playground
  • No throwing sand inside or outside the sandbox
  • Wait your turn when using playground equipment
  • Don’t walk in front of swings that are being used

It’s best if you provide your kids with supervision, but if you have older kids, don’t be afraid to send them off to the park as long as they know how to follow these rules.

Protect Kids From the Elements

Things can go wrong that don’t have anything to do with other kids, cars, or playground equipment. You also have to protect them from the elements.

Protecting your child from the sun is extremely important. That means using sunscreen, taking breaks in the shade, and making sure your child has plenty of water to drink on hot days.

It also means making sure your child is protected against bug bites, which means applying bug spray before they head out the door, and making sure they are dressed for the weather. If it’s a little chilly, send them outside with a jacket. They can always take it off if they get hot.

Provide Them With an Easy Way to Get Ahold of You

Emergencies and accidents happen. If your kids are playing in the yard or if you allow them to head to the park without you, it’s important that they know how to get ahold of you quickly.

That means letting them know what you’ll be doing inside so they can find you in the case of an emergency, and it may include sending your kid out into the world with a cell phone. If they are a little young for a cell phone, or if you aren’t comfortable giving your child a cell phone with internet access, there are many options you can choose from.

You can find phones that are used for emergency services only, as well as basic flip phones that can make calls and send text messages, and little else.

Don’t keep your kids inside! You can confidently let them outside when you follow the tips on this list.

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