1. Make water safety a priority. Three children drown every day in the U.S. Be sure to:

  • Keep a close watch on children in and near water, even when a lifeguard is present.
  • Never let children swim alone in open water—strong swimmers need buddies too.
  • Install a four-sided fence that's at least 4 feet high around home pools.
  • Be prepared for an emergency by learning cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).


2. Stay sun-safe. Help protect your family from harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays, skin damage and skin cancer. Be sure that everybody:

  • Applies a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 or higher at least 15 minutes before going outside, even on cloudy days.
  • Reapplies sunscreen every two hours or after swimming, sweating or toweling off.
  • Covers up in a long-sleeved shirt and long pants, when possible, for extra protection.
  • Heads for shade, especially around midday when UV rays are the strongest.


3. Keep ticks and mosquitoes from bugging your family. They can do more than bite—they may cause Lyme disease, West Nile virus or other illnesses. To help keep bugs at bay:

  • Use an insect repellent while outdoors where bites are likely—for example, in wooded, grassy or bushy areas where ticks may lurk. Ask your primary care provider to recommend an effective one.
  • Check for ticks after being outside in tick-infested areas, including your own backyard.
  • Get rid of any standing water in your yard—for instance, in planters or trash containers. Mosquitoes lay eggs near water.


4. Grill smart. Missteps can lead to a serious burn or home fire. To lower that risk:

  • Keep your grill well away from siding, deck railings and overhanging branches.
  • Keep kids away from your grill too. Create a 3-foot kid-free zone around it.


5. Head off head injuries. Reduce the risk of a bump or blow that might cause a traumatic brain injury by:

  • Checking to see if surfaces under playground equipment are safe, soft and well-maintained.
  • Insisting that kids always wear a helmet or appropriate headgear when riding a bike or scooter, using a skateboard or in-line skates, or playing contact sports. Be a good role model as well—do the same.


Find a pediatrician

Media Contact

Lori Harlan

Divisional Director of Marketing
HSHS Medical Group
Office: (217) 321-9292
Cell: (217) 321-9292

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