Keep Your Kids Safe From Unsuspecting Summer Hazards

Summer dangers can sometimes be surprising; be prepared with these simple tips!

Published May 8, 2023
Happy children playing in tree top adventure park

Summer is filled with outdoor activities and fun times with family and friends. Unfortunately, these outings and gatherings can lead to some dangerous situations. This makes summer safety for kids extremely important! For the parents wondering what to look out for, we detail some of the biggest summer hazards and how to protect your kids.


Running, jumping, climbing, sliding, and crawling are all fun parts of the playground that are guaranteed to wear out your kids. Jungle gyms are also a great spot for kids and parents to socialize and make new friends. However, falls off of playground equipment become much more common during this time of year. Burns are also a concern, with most playground equipment being made of metal.

How to Keep Kids Safe:

  • Select playgrounds that are designed for your kids. Many communities have play areas that are specifically made for toddlers and others created for older kids. Choose the one that best suits your family's needs.

  • Supervise kids - put cell phones away and watch them play.

  • Check playground equipment temperature before the fun begins.

  • Enjoy playground play in early morning and late evening hours when temperatures are cooler.

Need to Know

Check the temperature of playground equipment by placing the back of your hand on the various surfaces. If you can't hold it there comfortably for 5 seconds, it is too hot to play on.

Wheeled Recreational Vehicles

Even with experienced riders, falls are inevitable when the conditions are right. Wheeled recreational devices, like bicycles, skateboards, hoverboards, scooters, and roller blades can all be a threat. Additionally, golf carts and ATVs can also be a concern.

How to Keep Kids Safe:

  • Have your kids wear a helmet! This can "reduce the risk of head injury by at least 45%, brain injury by 33%, facial injury by 27% and fatal injury by 29%." Additionally, just like with playground equipment, supervision is important.

  • Maintain your equipment. This means filling up bike tires and lubricating your kid's bike chains.

  • Supervise your kids when they engage in these activities. Children tend to be daredevils when their parents aren't watching them.

  • When leaving your child in the care of another person, discuss activities they are planning to enjoy and your rules for your kids before leaving.

  • Use common sense. If your kids are not at an appropriate age to use an item, like an ATV or golf cart, don't let them use it.


Children jumping on trampoline

Trampolines are another great piece of equipment that helps kids get out their energy! Unfortunately, children tend to 'show off their skills' when on these fun, bouncy surfaces. Not only that, but when you have a mix of older and younger kids jumping at the same time, accidents are more likely to happen.

Whether you have a trampoline in your backyard or you go to an indoor park to escape the heat, be aware of the fact that when rules aren't in place, your kids can get hurt.

How to Keep Kids Safe:

  • Set simple rules. For example:

    • Younger kids jump together while older kids wait their turn, and vice versa.

    • When at an indoor park, only one person can jump on a trampoline square.

  • Supervise kids during trampoline play.

  • Consider keeping kids under the age of six off of trampolines. The American Academy of Pediatrics has put this guideline in place because children younger than six are more prone to bone injuries.

Bodies of Water

Drowning is the number one cause of death in children between the ages of one and four. During the summer months, families tend to frequent pools, lakes, rivers, and oceans. It is also a time when families are off of their normal schedules, visiting family and friends, and exploring the attractions in their hometowns.

This means that you are around other potential hazards, and you may not even realize it. For toddlers, toilets, bathtubs, buckets of water, fish tanks, and indoor and outdoor water features are all a potential risk. This may all sound scary - but there are simple things parents can do to reduce the risk.

How to Keep Kids Safe:

  • Enroll your babies and kids in survival swimming lessons.

  • Refresh swimming skills every year.

  • Reiterate rules about water regularly.

  • Wear lifejackets when in or on bodies of natural water.

  • Baby proof areas in the home where water could pose a threat.

  • Be proactive about baby proofing when visiting family.

Fireworks and Sparklers

Boys have fun in the park with firework sparkles

From fireworks and sparklers to roman candles and bottle rockets, families have loads of fun lighting up the night sky over the Fourth of July. This is another huge summer hazard. They are a part of our celebrations, so it's easy to forget that they are explosives that can cause burns and eye injuries.

How to Keep Kids Safe:

  • Confirm that burn bans are not in place for your county before lighting anything.

  • Leave the fireworks to the professionals.

  • If you let your kids use sparklers, supervise them closely.

  • Purchase products from reputable vendors.

  • Always keep a few buckets of water nearby, as well as a fire extinguisher.

Hot Dogs, Grapes, Popsicles, & More Summer Food Hazards

Barbecues are a summer staple! Regrettably, these fun get-togethers can also be filled with some summer hazards. People lay out delicious spreads that feature a wide selection of choking hazards. As most parents know, toddlers are experts at snagging items that they shouldn't have, and of course, popping them right into their little mouths.

Foods to watch out for include:

  • Hot dogs

  • Grapes

  • Marshmallows

  • Ice cubes

  • Popsicles

  • Baby carrots

  • Popcorn

  • Whole beans

  • Whole nuts

  • Chunks of cheese

  • Raw broccoli

  • Chicken with bones

How to Keep Kids Safe:

  • Offer young kids a plate the moment they spot the food.

  • Remind them to ask mommy or daddy before helping themselves.

  • Supervise them closely.

  • Get certified in CPR in case of an emergency.

Barbecue Supplies

This one may surprise you, but little hands love to get into things they're not supposed to be playing with. Lighter fluid and barbecue brushes are a huge threat to little ones because they always seem to be kept right at their arm's reach.

How to Keep Kids Safe:

  • Store these items out of arm's reach and put them away as soon as you are done using them.

  • Be THAT Person! Don't be afraid to ask the host to move these items. If they don't, move them yourself. Your baby's safety is much more important than keeping up appearances.


Family gatherings bring lots of fun, which many times includes adult beverages. While you may think that it is common sense to put your drink out of reach from little hands, you would be mistaken. Most people without children don't give a second thought about where they put their wine or beer.

How to Keep Kids Safe:

  • Again, be THAT person! If you notice people placing their drinks on a coffee table or counter edge and walking away, simply let them know that you are relocating their drink to keep your child safe.

  • Give your child a fun beverage! This will make them less likely to reach for others.

The Weather

Mother applying sunscreen to kid in the beach

Mother nature can be a dangerous lady. From sunburns to heatstroke, the sun is fun, until it isn't. Not only that, but afternoon thunderstorms become quite common in the summer months, making lightning a real threat.

How to Keep Kids Safe:

  • Check the forecast before heading outside.

  • Apply sunscreen properly and regularly reapply.

  • Dress your kids in sun safe clothing.

  • Make sure that your kids drink lots of water.

  • Take breaks indoors or in the shade often.

  • Check the pavement to make sure that it is not too hot for little feet.

    • The same technique for playground equipment can be used to check the pavement temperature.

  • When thunder roars, go indoors.

  • Learn more about lightning safety.

Need to Know

Placing a thin blanket over your stroller may seem like a good choice for shielding a baby from the sun, but this can actually put them in danger. By doing this, you trap in the heat, putting your child at risk of heatstroke.

Bug Bites

Sunshine, warmth, rainstorms, and bugs? How did they become a part of the package? Sadly, bug bites are inevitable when your kids are spending more time outside. This is especially true when you are near bodies of water.

How to Keep Kids Safe:

  • Dress your kids in loose, long sleeve shirts and pants when you plan to be out in the early morning and evening hours.

  • Choose green, blue, and purple-colored clothing (mosquitoes like these shades the least).

  • Apply bug spray before heading out.

Talk About Summer Safety Topics With Your Kids

Clearly, supervision is a large part of summer safety for kids. However, being proactive with prevention, like helmets, sunscreen, and swim lessons, can make a big difference in your kid's well-being. Also, simply talking to your kids about summer hazards can help them stay aware of these dangers, and quite possibly, promote a tiny bit of caution!

Keep Your Kids Safe From Unsuspecting Summer Hazards