Thursday, April 3, 2014

A Safe Springtime

Spring is here and summer is around the corner. This is the time that we’re getting outdoors to enjoy all that Minnesota has to offer. It’s also the time to be reminded about keeping safe during these warmer seasons.

Playground Safety

Heading out to the neighborhood play areas are great outings for all ages. I liked to plan to visit different playgrounds around the metro area throughout the spring, summer and fall. Part of that plan was checking the playground ahead of time to be sure the equipment is in good order and safe. Most area playgrounds are well kept and frequently checked, but it’s a good idea to have a look before you take children. Previewing the play area can help you direct the children’s activities while you are there as well as keep them safe. Many parks have great play areas along with large open spaces which are perfect for running and ball type games.

Bike Safety (or anything with wheels)

Whether the child is new to biking/roller blading/riding a scooter or any other wheel-based outdoor activity, there is a learning curve as we enter the outdoor season. Review the child's equipment and make sure that it is sized properly for them. This includes helmets and any pads. Bikes need a complete going over to be sure they are operating safely.

Make sure that everyone understands the rules of riding. Rules can change depending on location. Riding or roller blading in the neighborhood can be different than at the park or on a trail. Review the expectations before you start out.


Along with spending time outdoors engaged in play, biking or group activities comes making sure everyone is hydrated well. Once children are feeling thirsty they are already deficient in hydration. The warmer the weather and the more active the children are the more vigilant you need to be. Have water available during activities and encourage children to drink. Water should be encouraged over other drink options whenever possible. If children are overheated cooling off and re-hydrating are important to do before offering food.