Summer Safety with Little Ones  

a mother holder daughter's hand while walking

The days are getting longer, and summer is right around the corner! For most people, summertime fun is the highlight of the year; and it’s important to stay safe while outside, especially with kids.  

Emily Carlson, RN, Bright Start home visiting nurse, points out, “I live for summer, and I love getting my littles involved in fun outdoor activities. Mental health for everyone in our household seems to rise when we’re able to be outside. I have had a lot of clients say they also feel so much better when being able to get fresh air outside. I look forward to doing some visits outdoors with clients while on a walk with them.” 

Bright Start home visiting nurses share childcare tips and summer safety precautions with financially eligible first-time mothers in communities across the state. Anyone can use the Bright Start Referral Form and get personal support from a professionally trained nurse for themselves, a loved one, or a patient.  

Emily recommends the following summer fun tips to keep kids safe.   

  • Wear broad spectrum sunscreen
    The risk for cancer doubles after just five sunburns! Take cover in the shade and wear protective clothing and hats. To learn more about the sun and sunscreen visit this link: Sun Safety: Information for Parents About Sunburn & Sunscreen –  
  • Water safety and visibility
    Keep careful watch of children to increase water safety. Looking at a text, checking a fishing line, or applying sunscreen gives enough time for a child or weak swimmer to drown.  Dress children in bright swimsuits that contrast with the surroundings to make them easier to see.
  • Apply insect repellent to prevent bug bites
    Choose an insect repellent to keep children safe from bugs, people’s least favorite thing about those warm summer months! Bites from insects leave kids miserable with itching and put them at risk for West Nile, which is present in South Dakota. Using repellent can be helpful in keeping them away, typically in the form of lotions or sticks for children.  
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First-time mothers who meet the income requirements can enroll or be referred to the Bright Start Program and receive personalized nursing care from pregnancy through the child’s second birthday.