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A few tips to keep your children safe this summer

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A few tips to keep your children safe this summerAh, summertime. Swimming pools, no school, barbecues, camp, the 4th of July - most of us have pretty fond memories of our childhoods during those idyllic golden months. Some of us, however, can also remember some pretty epic summer disasters.

While the summer months may very well be the most exciting time for your child, there a few important concerns that you should keep in mind before you let them run wild.

First and foremost, discuss proper sun protection with your kids. Most kids rack up between 50 percent and 80 percent of their lifetime sun exposure before age 18, so it's important that parents teach their children how to enjoy fun in the sun safely. Discuss the different grading of sun screens as well as how to apply them properly. You may greatly reduce your child's risk of skin cancer later on in their lives.

Talk to your kids about poolside and water safety. Make sure that they know they should never go swimming without a lifeguard present. Teach them where it's safe to swim and where they should avoid taking a dip. If your kid doesn't know how to swim, maybe it's time that you gave him some lessons.

Without school to use up your child's energy stores, he'll have a lot of time to explore the neighborhood. Make sure to talk to your son or daughter about proper stranger safety precautions. Let him know what behavior is considered appropriate, and what sets off the alarm bells. Tell him what to do in case of an emergency.

By following these simple tips, you can greatly reduce your child's risk for summer mishaps. Just remember that summer is supposed to be fun for the whole family, so go easy (or let mom be the bad cop...)
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