Cincinnati Family Magazine

Your # 1 Hometown Family Resource

May 22, 2024

Safe Summer Fun

Be ready for the challenges of summer — review what you need to remember here!

You only get so many summers with your kids so make the best of it and practice safe summer fun.  Summer is crucial time for kids to just be kids, and for you to enjoy it, too! 
    “We want kids to learn how to fall down and fail while they live with us,” says Katheryne Ruck, D.O., family medicine, at Mercy Health – Mason Primary Care. “We want our kids to feel safe making ‘safe’ mistakes and knowing they can turn to us, their parents, for help,” she adds.
    Ruck emphasizes encouraging kids to “listen to their bodies and do what feels good to them.” She also says to not force them to do anything they are not comfortable with. That way they know they are trusted and can make smart decisions on their own. That being said, communicating the safety measures effectively is key to not only keep them safe, but show them that you trust them, too.

Talking About Safety to Kids

Communicating safety to kids doesn’t make you a helicopter parent. Safety is a must in the summertime, especially regarding sun, water and helmet safety. Let your kids be involved with applying sunscreen, choosing a cool helmet and “teaching” you some new swim moves.

Sun Safety

Although those rays feel nice, Ruck says they can cause damage overtime.
    “Wearing sunblock will help prevent sunburn and decrease the risk of skin cancer,” she says. “Infants younger than 6 months should wear UV protective clothing, such as sun hats and UV shirts.”
    Babies over 6 months old should wear sunscreen with SPF greater than 50 that’s reapplied every two hours and immediately after being in water. Ruck suggests using a makeup brush to brush on the sunscreen or a stick sunscreen that kids can help with.

Helmet Safety

Have your kids wear a helmet (ones that meat Consumer Product Safety Commission standards) before they ride off. Kids should wear helmets level on their heads, covering the forehead without tipping too far forward or backward. Be sure to check for a proper fit; you should be able to fit two fingers between the chin and strap.

Water Safety

Swimming is great exercise for kids. But no matter how confidently your children swim, they should be directly supervised by an adult around any body of water. Kids 5 years or younger should be within arm’s length for “touch supervision.” In addition, know that “floaties,” or “water wings” are not a replacement for supervision. Swim lessons are ideal, too. 

Trust and Give Your Kids a Voice

Talking about safety rules to your kids matters and remember: how you talk to them is the key, not always what you say.
   In a friendly way with no pressure, tell your kids know it’s your job to keep them safe. Next, let them know you trust them to take care of themselves but that you’re going to help buckle helmets, apply sunscreen, etc., until they can do it on their own — because safety’s not negotiable!



About the Author

Amanda Hayward

Amanda Hayward is editor of this publication. She is from Cincinnati, Ohio, and a mom of three with one on the way. If she's not writing for Cincinnati Family, you'll find her running, juggling kids, teaching group fitness classes and cooking up healthy recipes.