Skip to navigation menu Skip to content


Group of children throwing water balloons

Outdoor Safety Tips for Summer

By: Dr. Marcella Childs, Town Center Pediatrics

Kids love to play outside, and it’s healthy for them to stay physically active throughout summer break. But there are special precautions you should take to prevent injuries that can arise from outdoor activities. Follow these basic tips to keep your children safe while playing outside.

Sun and Heat

  • Always protect your child’s skin with sunscreen
  • Encourage kids to play in the shade as much as possible, especially between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., when the sun’s rays are strongest.
  • Never leave your child in the car alone. Also, remember to keep car doors locked at all times so children cannot get into a parked car when you’re not using it.


  • Avoid dehydration by making sure your child drinks plenty of water before, during, and after playing.
  • Have an adult present at all times. Never leave young kids outside alone, even in your own backyard.
  • Teach young children not to step onto the street for any reason, even if a ball accidentally rolls into the road. They should ask an adult for help.
  • Review our bicycle safety tips with your kids before they take their next ride.
  • Explain that it’s not safe to play around the grill, especially when it's in use.
  • Read the instructions regarding risks for children before using chemicals like pesticides or herbicides. It is not recommended that children play on a lawn or garden that’s recently been treated.
  • Keep kids out of any area when using power equipment and a lawnmower. See additional tips to prevent lawnmower injuries.


  • Always supervise your child on the playground.
  • Choose a playground that has shock-absorbing surfaces like rubber, mulch, or sand.
  • Never let your child play outside without proper footwear – they can step on something sharp or very hot.
  • Check the surfaces of the equipment to make sure they’re not too hot for play.

Swimming and Boating

  • Never leave kids alone near any body of water, such as a backyard pool, community pool, hot tub, beach, and even ponds.
  • Have your child wear a life jacket while swimming, boating, or participating in water sports. Make sure that it’s the correct size and that your child wears it as instructed. Inflatable “floaties” are not a substitute for approved life jackets, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.
  • Do not allow your child to swim in the ocean without a lifeguard on duty. Young children should always be kept within arm’s reach of an adult while in the water.
  • Teach your child about rip currents in the ocean. If caught in one, they should swim parallel to the beach until they’re safely out of the current, then swim back in.
  • Stay out of the water and off the beach if there is lightning during a storm.
  • Keep your backyard pool safe for your kids and their friends using our pool safety tips.

Like this post?

Sign up to receive our once monthly email with more kids' health tips from the region's most trusted name in pediatric health care.

About CHKD Medical Group

About CHKD Medical  Group Children’s Hospital of The King’s Daughters has been the region’s most trusted name in pediatric care for more than 50 years. As members of CHKD Health System, our pediatricians work closely with CHKD’s full range of pediatric specialists and surgeons. They also share a commitment to quality, excellence and child-centered care. With 18 practices in 29 locations throughout the region, a CHKD pediatrician is never far.