Keep Kids Safe This Summer
Hot weather provides opportunities for kids to enjoy the outdoors. Take steps to keep them safe and healthy, both indoors and outdoors.
Master Water Safety
Swimming and other water activities are excellent ways to get the physical activity and health benefits needed for a healthy life. Get the most from these activities while helping everyone stay safe and healthy.
- Parents and caregivers play a key role in protecting children from drowning. When kids are in or near water, closely supervise them at all times.
- Help prevent recreational water illnesses, which is illness caused by germs and chemicals found in the water we swim in. Keep the pee, poop, sweat, and dirt out of the water. Take kids on bathroom breaks and check diapers every hour, and change them in a bathroom or diaper-changing area–not poolside–to keep germs away from the pool.
- Stay safe while boating by wearing a life jacket. Properly fitted life jackets can prevent drownings and should be worn at all times by everyone on any boat.
- The primary way that infants and children get Zika is through bites of infected mosquitoes. Protect yourself and your family by wearing Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered insect repellent with one of the following ingredients: DEET, picaridin, IR3535, oil of lemon eucalyptus, para-menthane-diol, or 2-undecanone, wearing long sleeves and pants when weather permits, using air conditioning if available, and making sure that you use window and door screens to keep mosquitoes outside. If you are pregnant, learn about special recommendations from CDC.
- To date, no cases of Zika have been reported from breastfeeding. Because of the benefits of breastfeeding, mothers are encouraged to breastfeed, even in areas where Zika virus is found.
- Common symptoms of Zika are fever, rash, joint pain, and red eyes. Symptoms usually go away within a few days to one week. Many people infected with Zika don't have symptoms.
- There is no vaccine or medicine for Zika.
- Learn more about prevention of Zika and treatment of symptoms.
Be Sun Smart
Just a few serious sunburns can increase your child's risk of skin cancer later in life. Adults and children need protection from ultraviolet (UV) rays whenever they're outdoors. Learn how to protect your child from sun damage.
- Seek shade when necessary. UV rays are strongest and most harmful during midday, so it's best to plan indoor activities then. If this is not possible, seek shade under a tree, an umbrella, or a pop-up tent.
- When possible, cover up with long-sleeved shirts and long pants and skirts to provide protection from UV rays.
- Wear a hat that shades the face, scalp, ears, and neck. If your child chooses a baseball cap, be sure to protect exposed areas with sunscreen.
- Wear sunglasses. They protect your child's eyes from UV rays, which can lead to cataracts later in life.
- Use a sunscreen with at least SPF (sun protection factor) 15 every time your child goes outside. For the best protection, apply sunscreen generously 30 minutes before going outdoors. Don't forget to protect ears, noses, lips, and the tops of feet.
Be Safe at Home, Work, and Play
Injuries are the leading cause of death in children aged 19 and younger, but most child injuries can be prevented.
- Play it safe on the playground. Read playground signs and use playground equipment that is right for your child's age. Look out for things in the play area that can trip your child, like tree stumps or rocks.
- Stay smart around the house by following tips on fire prevention, microwave use, and living with pets.
- Help working teens learn about safety and health on the job.
Learn More About Health
CDC has more resources for kids to learn about issues that affect their health.
- CDC's new mobile game, Dining Decisions, is an interactive app that helps kids learn to make healthy food choices in different environments.
- Be a disease detective and solve the outbreak! Get clues, analyze data, solve the case, and save lives!
- Listen to the Kidtastics radio podcasts recorded by kids for kids.
- Explore BAM - Designed for kids 9 to 13 years old, BAM! Body and Mind gives them the information they need to make healthy lifestyle choices.
Help yourself, your loved ones, and others have a safe and healthy summer!
- Page last reviewed: December 7, 2016
- Page last updated: December 7, 2016
- Content source:
- CDC Office of Women's Health
- Page maintained by: Office of the Associate Director for Communication, Digital Media Branch, Division of Public Affairs