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It’s a wonderful world

We’re all happy to enjoy sunshine, fresh air and plenty of outside time after being cooped up for what seems like forever. Yes, there’s real joy for kids in getting outside and feeling the benefits of play and unstructured time in the great outdoors again. But, as always, before throwing caution to the wind, lets take a step back and remind ourselves that prevention is worth a pound of cure and encourage our children, to be mindful of some basic outdoor safety tips.

Road safety: Talk to your sons and daughters about importance of not playing on or near the road and in looking both ways before crossing the street. Give a warning about walking or riding out behind parked cars. For young bikers wearing a helmet that’s the correct size and knowing to use their bell to warn others is key. Remind them its wise to avoid busy streets, always ride on the right side with traffic and obey all traffic signals and stop signs.

Fun in the sun: Since 90 per cent of all skin cancers are caused by sun exposure, reducing our children’s risk by teaching them sun safety guidelines will help protect their skin. Tips include: 1. Avoiding the sun’s direct rays. 2. Blocking UVA and UVB rays with water resistant sunscreen that has an SPF of 30 or higher. 3. Covering up. 4. Saying something that helps remind others to wear hats and reapply their sunscreen every few hours.

Water wise: Most accidents happen in backyard pools. Keep a close eye out for pools without four-side fencing and self-closing, self-latching gates. On nature walks where rivers and streams flow free or at the lake always stick like glue to your little ones. Talk about taking a look before you leap approach with any body of water and value of swimming with a buddy. Lifesaving Society recommends a supervision ratio of at least one adult for every two young children and one adult for every baby?

The current state of the world may seem upside down but the great outdoors is calling, perhaps more than ever before. Teaching children how to anticipate risks, become street smarter will give them skills for life. They’ll also gain the confidence to explore so that, in the words of Lady and the Tramp, they’ll realize, like the rest of us that “beyond those distant hills, who knows what wonderful experiences?” 

Picture of Caroline Tapp-McDougall

Caroline Tapp-McDougall

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