Play It Safe Outside

With so many kids engaging in television, video games, and computer activity, it seems what most children are in dire need of is some time outdoors. Playing outside gives your child a chance to blow off some steam while getting their daily dose of physical activity. And yes, we all know that means they're actually exercising... and enjoying it. While outdoor play is plenty of fun, it's important to exercise caution and follow proper safety precautions. For starters, there should always be adult supervision when your child is outside. Accidents happen... and they happen fast. You don't want your child chasing a ball into the path of oncoming traffic. Or what about stranger danger? There is a multitude of things that *can* but *won't* happen so long as you're keeping a careful eye on children. If you're at a playground, make sure your children are using the equipment in the proper fashion.

For bike riding, scooter play, skateboarding or other activities, make sure your child has knees pads and a helmet. They should stay out of the roads and on sidewalks where they can avoid cars. When your child is playing outside, look for broken glass, ant piles, wasp nests or any other health hazards. If you have a pool, make sure the gate is secured so that no children can get into the water. Apply plenty of sunscreen to prevent your kids from getting sunburn. Also keep your children hydrated so that they don't get heat stroke or sun poisoning. Keep bottled water at hand. Teach your children to look both ways before going into the street and encourage them to limit play to your yard. If there is a lot of traffic in your neighborhood, take the kids to a nearby park or empty field to play. Use insect repellent or bug spray to keep your children safe from mosquitoes and ticks.