Got a summer safety plan for your kids? When warm weather arrives, chances are pretty good you and your kids will spend more time in the sun. The beach, pool, or lake might be part of your summer plans, too. But before you pack lunches, snacks, and water toys, you need a summer safety plan, too.

Following a few summer safety tips can help prevent:

  • Drownings: About 750 children a year die from accidental drowning.1
  • Sickness from bacteria and germs found in pools, lakes, rivers, and oceans: Contaminated water at pools and beaches can cause diarrhea, vomiting, skin rash and upper respiratory illness.
  • Skin and vision damage from the sun’s ultraviolet rays: Without sunscreen, sunburn can happen in as little as 15 minutes. Just 5 or more sunburns raise your chance for skin cancer. Too much sun can also damage your eyes and raise the chance for cataracts as you age.

Looking for some summer safety tips to enjoy the warmer weather with your kids? You need a game plan to keep your kids safe around water and protect them from the sun.

Summer safety: 8 tips to play it safe in the sun and on the water

1. Stay in the shade

Stay in the shade (or go indoors) during the hottest part of the day. Why?

  • The sun’s ultraviolet rays during midday hours are the most dangerous.
  • 1 in 5 adults in the U.S. get skin cancer by age 70.4
  • Every hour in the U.S., about 2 people die from problems related to skin cancer.

If you’re going to be outside during the hottest part of the day, find some shade under a tree or covered picnic area. Or bring your own like an umbrella or pop-up tent.

2. Cover up

Your kids might want to head outside in shorts, tank tops or swimsuits. But on really hot days, cover up. Light-colored, breathable and loose-fitting clothing can protect your skin from the sun. Wear clothing such as:

  • Long-sleeved shirts
  • Long pants
  • Skirts
  • Hooded beach towels
  • Swim robes

3. Wear a hat

The wider the brim, the better. Why? A wide-brimmed hat protects your face, scalp, ears and neck from the sun’s harmful rays. Ever wonder where skin cancer shows up most? You guessed it: the face, scalp, lips, ears and neck.

If your kids won’t wear a wide-brimmed hat, a baseball cap or visor is better than nothing. Just make sure you apply sunscreen to any exposed areas.

4. Wear sunglasses

Wear sunglasses that cover 99 to 100% of your eyes. Look for sunglasses that also block the sun’s ultraviolet rays. When the eyes are exposed to too much sun, the chance goes up for problems like:

  • Cataracts
  • Macular degeneration
  • Corneal sunburn
  • Certain types of eye cancers

Want to protect your kids eyes from the sun’s harmful rays? Get your kid a cool pair of shades.

5. Use sunscreen

Use lather-on lotion or spray-on sunscreen with an SPF (Sun Protection Factor) of 30 or higher. Use sunscreen on all the areas on the body exposed to the sun. This may include:

  • Scalp
  • Face (forehead, nose, lips, cheeks, ears)
  • Shoulders
  • Arms
  • Hands
  • Legs
  • Feet
  • Back

Note: Sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher blocks 97% of the sun’s harmful rays. Sunscreen with a higher SPF is available. But no sunscreen can block 100% of the sun’s harmful rays.

6. Pay attention around water

At the pool or at the beach near a lake, river, or ocean? Keep your eyes on your kids.

  • A child can drown in as little as 2 inches of water.
  • Stepping into the deep end of a pool or getting swept away by a current can be dangerous, too.

7. Prevent recreational water illnesses

A trip to the pool or beach with your kids can be fun…until there’s diarrhea, vomiting, skin rash, coughing and congestion. You can’t always stay away from germs, bacteria, and chemicals in swimming water that can make you sick, but you can take precautions to avoid it:

  • Keep pee, poop, sweat and dirt out of the water. (Shower first when possible.)
  • Take kids on bathroom breaks and check diapers every hour.
  • If you need to change a diaper at a pool or beach, use a restroom changing area or do it away from the pool or water.
  • Remind kids to avoid swallowing swimming water.
  • Always rinse off after swimming.
  • If a pool or beach is closed because the water is unsafe, stay out of the water.

8. Wear a life jacket while boating

Wearing a life jacket might seem like an inconvenience for you and your kids. Why not go for a boat ride without wearing one? What’s the big deal?

Think about this. About 86% of people who drown in boating accidents are not wearing a life jacket.9

Summer safety tip: if you’re planning to take your kids boating this summer, you and your kids should wear life jackets.

Use these summer safety tips to enjoy spending time outside with your kids, make swimming safer, protect your eyes, prevent sunburn and more.



1. Unintentional drowning deaths among children aged 0–17 years. Retrieved from: Accessed on April 14, 2022. | 2. Swimming-related illnesses. Retrieved from: Accessed on April 14, 2022. | 3. Skin cancer. Retrieved from: Accessed on April 14, 2022. | 4. Skin cancer facts & statistics. Retrieved from: Accessed on April 15, 2022. | 5. Skin cancer. Retrieved from: Accessed on April 15, 2022. | 6. The sun, UV light and your eyes. Retrieved from: Accessed on April 15, 2022. | 7. Sunscreen FAQs. Retrieved from: Accessed on April 15, 2022. | 8. Water safety. Retrieved from: Accessed on April 14, 2022. | 9. U.S. Coast Guard 2020 Recreational boating statistics. Retrieved from:
Accessed on April 15, 2022.


Disclaimer: This advertisement contains information compiled by HealthMarkets Insurance Agency. HealthMarkets Insurance Agency does not represent that these are statements of fact. Please consult directly with your primary care physician if you need medical advice.

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