Summer Safety Tips

Thu, May 18 2023

The weather is getting nicer and the sun is getting hotter here in SC, so let's talk through some key preventative tips as you and your family start venturing outside more.

Stay Cool!

South Carolina, especially the Midlands region, is notoriously hot during the Summer months, with highest temperatures occurring during July. With the heat index oftentimes reaching over 90* F, it is important to know how to combat extreme temperatures to keep your family safe.

Helpful tip: Stay cool this summer by:

  • Dressing in clothing that is light-colored, lightweight and limited to one layer
  • Plan for extra breaks. Go inside to cool off, rest and rehydrate.
  • Cool off by playing in shaded areas outdoors, or with pools or water toys (with adult supervision).

Sun Safety!

Always apply sunscreen when outside. Apply 15-30 minutes ahead of when going outside to allow it to absorb and reapply every 2-3 hours or right after getting wet. Sunscreens that contain zinc oxide and are at least 30 SPF are recommended, as well as the use of hats and sun protective clothing to limit sun exposure. Don't forget lip balm with sunscreen to protect lips!

Always check the car!

Never leave children in the car, even for short periods of time, even with the windows open. Be sure to talk with your child about not using the car as a hiding spot for games, and advise them to never be alone in the car.

Helpful tip: when driving, place items you need in the backseat such as purses, cell phones, shoes, etc. as an added reason to check the backseat.


The AAP recommends the following daily water and milk intake for children under the age of 5. For hotter days or on days when kids are outside for longer periods of time, aim for the higher recommendation.

For children 4-8 years old, aim for 5 cups of water, and 7-8 cups of water for older children.

Helpful tip: Try to limit sugary drinks and encourage water intake. To make water more appealing to kids, try infusing it with lemons, berries, cucumbers or mint.

Bugs Bugs Everywhere!

South Carolina bugs are making their appearance, so consider the following when going outdoors:

  • Apply insect repellant before spending time outdoors (do not use DEET products on children younger than 2 months old)
  • Don't use scented soaps, perfumes or hair sprays as they will attract bugs
  • Avoid bright colors of flowery prints when dressing your child
  • Wear hats to protect against ticks when walking in the woods or through high grasses or overgrown brush. Check for ticks at the end of these kinds of activities.

Water Safety!

Never leave children unattended around bodies of water, even small ones. Don't rely on inflatable toys or water wings to keep your child safe in the water. Flotation devices and life jackets should be approved by the U.S. Coast Guard (check for the seal) and should fit according to the PFDs size recommendations, which is usually based on size and weight. Not sure when and wear to a life jacket? Check this:

  • Small children and weak swimmers should wear life jackets anytime they are around water, including pools and waterparks.
  • Everyone should wear a life jacket in oceans or open bodies of water
  • Everyone should wear a life jacket when boating or participating in water-based sports.

Other considerations include:

  • Making sure pools are guarded by fences at least 4ft in height on all sides that have self-latching gates.
  • Don't use a pool or hot tub that has broken or missing drain covers. This could result in entrapment.
  • Never swim alone.
  • Younger children should be closely supervised using "touch supervision" where an adult is within arm's length.
  • Teach your children about rip currents and how to get out of them.
  • Avoid water during storms.

Wheel Safety!

Always wear a helmet when riding a bike or scooter. Adjust the helmet so that it fits properly; it should be placed squarely on the head and cover the top of the forehead. Helmets should not move around on the head or slide down over the wearer's eyes when pushed or pulled.

Supervise your child outside and teach them bike/scooter safety, as well as how to look out for motorists and other riders.