Summer may make us think of long, carefree and hot sunny days – but with the kids off school and spending more time outside there is an increased risk of different types of accidents and injuries.

Although we don’t have particularly long periods of very hot weather, children are especially susceptible to high temperatures. Precautions should be taken to avoid heat stroke and dehydration, both of which can be fatal.

  • Keep children out of the midday heat and make sure they cover up with suitable clothing, are wearing at least SPF30 sunscreen and are regularly drinking water. Children aged under 6 months should be kept out of direct strong sunlight.
  • Sunburn is a severe health risk. You can still get sunburnt on a cloudy day when it may not feel as hot. Getting sunburnt just once every two years triples the risk of melanoma skin cancer. Check UV levels; anything three or above is strong enough to cause skin damage. Find out more about the dangers of UV on our health in this short video.
  • Swimming is a great summer activity for the whole family. There is a big difference between pool and open water swimming and children need to be made aware of the dangers of flows, currents and uneven surfaces. Children should never be left alone near water and should use swimming arm bands and non-slips shoes if needed.

The risks aren’t only outside. In the warm weather you will want to have the windows open but this can be extremely dangerous with young children around due to the risk of falling – even on the ground floor.

  • Make sure there is no furniture near open windows so that children can’t climb up.
  • Install safety catches where possible so there is less chance of windows being pushed open too wide.

Find further information about how to keep babies and young children safe in hot weather on the NHS website and check out more general tips on keeping children safe over the summer on the Child Accident Prevention Trust website.