Essential Summer Safety Kit For Parents

July 7, 2011



Temperatures are rising and that only means one thing... summer is here!

Parents need to be prepared for a variety of summer outings whether it's going on vacation or making a trip to the park.

I recommend putting together a summer safety kit and keeping it in a convenient place so it's easy to grab when heading out the door.

Some important items that should be in this kit include:

  1. Sunscreen. Parents, make sure that you buy sun block and not sun tan lotion for your children. Sun tan lotion contains the lowest level SPF and the goal is to try and find the highest level of SPF possible. Be sure to be aware if your child is sensitive to a higher SPF. Sunscreen should be applied 15 minutes before going outside and reapplied every two hours when swimming/sweating.
  2. First aid essentials. Keep antibiotic ointment and adhesive bandages with you at all times for the nicks and scratches your children will get while playing outside.
  3. A children's headache or pain medication. Be sure your kit has Children's Tylenol, Children's Motrin or a similar generic brand.
  4. Insect repellent. Be sure to buy a product with DEET as the active ingredient. This is in preference to products that contain citronella which is marketed as "safe," but is not as effective. However, be sure to get the lowest strength DEET possible. Avoid repellents that are marketed for "deep woods" use and go for something that is kid or family friendly.
  5. An anesthetic. When children get bug bites, anesthetic can help with the itching. Look for products with pramoxine in it as this is considered the gold standard in terms of providing relief from itching. If your child has a number of bites, use some type of antihistamine like Benadryl.
  6. Water bottle. Be sure you have an insulated water bottle full of cold water, enough for everyone. Parents, be sure to offer water to your children frequently. Water is the best thing to be drinking during the hot summer months.
  7. Food and snack items. Fruits and vegetables that are easily transportable are always a good idea for summer outings. Oranges are a great choice as they have extra fluid in them. Other options include bananas, carrots, celery, or anything that can be grabbed quickly on the go and doesn't need a lot of preparation. Grapes are another great option as long as they are cut up for younger kids. Trail mix is also great for older kids.
  8. Individual health needs. Make sure you have all the necessary items for children with special health needs. Inhalers, medications, testing equipment, etc.
  9. Phone. Also, be sure to have a cell phone with you in case you need to locate a place to receive more definitive care.

Summer is a time for family fun and we want people to get outside with their kids. Being prepared will help you enjoy your time outdoors more. Don't forget to keep this safety kit in a readily accessible place to grab it when you're on the go!

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