Summer Playground Safety

Yesterday I took my kids to a park and we were all but unable to play.  Everything was so hot from the sun, I was afraid the kids were going to hurt.  After checking out a few shadier parks, only to find that the slides there were also very hot from the sun peeking in between the trees, we headed to the Burger King playplace (as did many other parents - it was packed!).  Here are some summer tips to keep your kids safe at the playground:

  • Sun Protection - Sunscreen and Hats.  Reapply sunscreens to avoid becoming the shade darker than broil that I currently am.  And try to avoid mid-day sun when it is at its strongest.
  • Plastic and Metal Burns - It takes just a short time before playground slides, swings and ride-ons get dangerously hot.  Test both metal and plastic play toys before allowing your kids play to avoid burns.
  • Hydrate - Keep your kids hydrated when they are at play in the heat.  I like to make ice cubes out of fruit juice and put them in a big jug of water for my kids.  They keep the water cool and it gets the kids the water they need with a splash of flavor - without a ton of sugar.
  • AGH! Mosquitoes - Those pesky little buggers find me no matter where I am and no matter what time of day it is.  I’ve tried the bug bands and the natural repellents and still I get bit.  Now, I’m sticking with DEET.  Though - use caution with DEET. 
  • Splinters - Make sure your kids’ feet are protected when playing in playgrounds with wood chips.  I always put my kids in sneakers for wood chip parks.  I’ve had my fair share of wood chips sticking out of the skin or in a nail bed while wearing sandals.

Maybe it is because my kids are so accident prone, but I always have in my bag/car: a mini first aid kit, a mini burn kit (both found at the Target dollar spot for $1), those smack and go ice packs, extra water and snacks, and a wet washcloth in a bag.  My grandma used to carry a wet washcloth in a bag.  I always thought it was kind of stupid until I was scratched down the face by a cat.  Now, I carry one, too.  It can help refresh on a hot day, wipe away tears after a fall, cleanse a wound.  You never know what you might need it for, but I sure was glad my grandma had one the day that infamous cat crossed my path.


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