We’ve all been enjoying our unusually hot summer weather. But it can bring unexpected risks and dangers. Don’t forget:

Avoid dehydration

Toddlers and young children can easily become dehydrated:

  • 1 – 3 years old should be drinking 1 to 1.5 litres of fluid per day
  • 5 – 8 year olds should have 5 glasses (1 litre)
  • 9 – 12 years olds should have 7 glasses (1.5 litres)
  • 13+ years should have 8-10 glasses (2 litres).

Signs of dehydration are: dry mouth, crying without tears, sunken eyes, no energy and drowsiness.

Prevent sunburn

Avoid being in direct sun between 11am and 3pm when the sun is at its strongest. Keep babies of 6 months and under out of the sun as much as possible. Use a cream or lotion with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 or above and apply regularly.

To protect against UVA choose a cream with 4 or 5 stars. Ultra violet light contains UVB which causes skin to burn whilst UVA is linked to some skin cancers. Encourage children to wear an oversized loose T-shirt and a floppy hat for extra protection.

Beware of bugs!

(See: www.bristolpost.co.uk for a guide on insects that bite).

Ticks – wear long sleeves and trousers and check for ticks after walking through undergrowth or wooded areas.

Flower bugs – a bite that’s very itchy and slow to heal, use insect repellent and encourage children to wear gloves if helping in the garden.

Harlequin Ladybirds – they look cute, but if they are red or orange with multiple spots they can bite.

Mosquitos/Midges/Blackfly – the bite will look like a raised red lump, keep it cool to stop it itching.

Horsefly – a large hairy fly with a painful bite that can take a long time to heal and can become infected.

Wasps – they love bright clothes but are less likely to notice you if you wear white or a neutral colour. Do not swat, move slowly out of their way!

Midges and gnats – they attack in swarms at dusk and dawn and bites are painful and itchy, wear insect repellent.

Water safety

(see www.rospa.com for more information)

When it’s hot it can be very tempting to go swimming somewhere you don’t know, like a river or a canal. Be very careful though, the water might be:

  • Very cold
  • Deep
  • Have hidden currents
  • Polluted
  • Full of hidden rubbish
  • Difficult to get out of.

It is a frightening fact that most drownings take place when a child has been out of sight for less than 5 minutes. The most important message is to make sure that an adult (who can swim) is always around when children are in water of any depth. Young children should be within an arm’s reach of an adult at all times. Encourage children to learn to swim, it is great fun and it could be a life saver.

Be aware at all times

(See www.bristolpost.co.uk for tips on keeping children safe)

In the summer holidays children want to get out and about. But do remind them of ‘Stranger Danger’ and the need to be alert. It’s easy to get distracted when you’re having fun. The Bristol Post has a good guide for keeping children safe. Written by teachers, it includes online safety advice.

But most of all…HAVE A GREAT HOLIDAY!