• By Deborah Balzer

Mayo Clinic Minute: Tips to keep your kids safe outdoors

May 29, 2019

Summer, spring, winter or fall. Every season brings its benefits and challenges, especially for kids who play outdoors. Hear what Dr. Angela Mattke, a Mayo Clinic pediatrician, suggests to ensure your kids stay safe while enjoying summer adventures.

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Kids often enjoy playing outside year-round. But summer weather brings unique challenges.

Dr. Mattke says that when the bikes, scooters and Rollerblades come out, so should the helmets.

"Make sure they're putting a helmet on that's going to protect them from serious traumatic brain injury, and it needs to fit."

That means making sure the helmet is snapped and not too loose. 

Playing outside also means staying protected from UV radiation and exposure to the sun.

"Make sure that your child is wearing protective clothing and also sunscreen. The sunscreen should be at least SPF (sun protection factor) 30, and it needs to be reapplied frequently."

Dr. Mattke says ideally reapply sunscreen every two hours or more frequently if your child is in the water.

And don't forget about protection from ticks and mosquitoes. 

"Make sure that your family's not being potentially exposed to tick-borne or mosquito-borne illnesses. Apply that insect repellent and reapply it as frequently as directed based on the type that you have."

Most important, says Dr. Mattke, is to allow your children to play outside.

"It's OK to let your child experience minor injuries. That's part of being a kid."

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