Kids can be exposed to dangers outside, but with some awareness and preparation beforehand, allowing kids to have free time outside can be a safe experience. Some risks parents should prepare kids of all ages for are:
- Roads and highways: Even very young children can learn about the dangers of cars and road rules. Children should avoid playing on or near busy streets and stay away from areas with heavy traffic.
- COVID-19: Most kids understand the need for properly wearing a face mask, social distancing and washing hands often. Ensure kids are properly equipped before they go out by having masks and small bottles of hand sanitizer accessible.
- Stranger danger: Children should avoid contact with adults they don’t know and who may engage them. Kids should remain in groups with friends for their safety and have someone they know and trust accompany them home.
- Falls and injuries: Bumps and bruises happen. An adult should always supervise younger kids at play in case help is needed.
- Protection from the elements: Children need to exercise caution from some of the things that they may be drawn to most, such as animals, bodies of water (pools, lakes and rivers) and a hot sunny day. Animals could scratch, bite or cause allergies. Playing around water unsupervised can lead to drowning. And too much time outside on a hot, sunny day could lead to dehydration and sunburn.
- Playground hazards: Playground equipment occasionally breaks and may not be safe for use. It’s a good idea to perform a quick visual inspection before letting your kids use the equipment.