Child Summer Safety

Summer safety is no laughing matter! Summer is a time for fun in the sun, but you want to make sure it is safe and healthy for you and your family. Summer can be dangerous with sunny days leading to serious health issues like food poisoning, sunburns, and heat-related illnesses. Here are some tips to stay safe in the summer:

Sun Protection

Age 0-6 months

  • Avoid sun exposure and find shade.
  • Dress light-weight long pants, long-sleeved shirts, and wide-brimmed, floppy hats. Sunscreen is not recommended for infants under 6 months because they can absorb more chemicals through their skin than older children and adults. If applying sunscreen to infants, keep away from body parts that come into contact with the mouth.

All other Children:

  • Dress: Brimmed hats, sunglasses with 97-100% UVA & UVB protection, cotton clothing with a tight weave.
  • Stay in the shade if possible and limit time in peak intensity hours (between 10 am and 2:00 pm).
  • Generously apply SPF 15 or higher sunscreen that protects against UVA & UVB rays.
  • Apply sunscreen indoors at least 15 minutes before going outside. Chemical sunscreens need several minutes to soak into the skin to provide full protection. Applying indoors also limits sun exposure and during sunscreen application.

Choosing a Sunscreen:

There are 2 types of UV rays (also called “radiation”) that strike the Earth’s surface and cause skin cancer, sunburn, and early skin aging: UVA & UVB A large variety of sunscreens reduce exposure to both types of rays.

A simple rule to follow is that the higher the SPF the greater the UVB ray/sunburn protection. Sunscreens with SPF 15 or higher are recommended.

Child Summer Safety


  • Activities that last 15 minutes or longer should be reduced whenever high heat and humidity reach critical levels.
  • Children dehydrate quicker than adults. If children have been out in the heat for 30 minutes or more, bring them inside for at least 15 minutes for water and snacks.
  • Hydration is essential. Before prolonged physical activity, children should be well-hydrated and should not feel thirsty. In hot and humid environments prolonged or strenuous exercise and heavy sweating should be reasons to increase the child’s fluid/water intake.
  • Light-colored, lightweight clothing is recommended for hot days. Children should also reduce to one layer of absorbent material to allow sweat to evaporate.


NEVER leave a child alone in a car -even for a minute! Since 1998, more than 230 children have died in a hot car (sometimes on mild 70-degree days) from heat stroke. Most of these children were ages 3 and younger. Heat is much more dangerous to children than to adults. A young child’s core body temperature can increase 3 to 5 times faster than an adult’s when left in a hot vehicle. This can happen in just a few minutes and can cause permanent injury or death.                                  

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