chattanooga family friendly activitiesBefore you head outside to enjoy the sunshine and spring weather. There are a few steps and precautions to take to ensure that your children stay safe while enjoying activities and events this season.

Helmets: If your child is taking the neighborhood or park by wheel, be sure they are wearing a helmet. Not only should your child be wearing a helmet, but they should be wearing one that fits well. The helmet should sit just above the eyebrows and not rock back and forth on the child’s head. When riding a scooter, bike, skateboard, tricycle or even rollerblades your child should be wearing a helmet.

Playground: Harsh winter weather can leave playgrounds worse for wear. Inspect the playground to ensure the equipment your child is playing on is in proper working order. Make certain the padding or material under slides and swings is plush.

Sunscreen: Just because the sun isn’t at its hottest, doesn’t mean it isn’t emitting harmful UV rays. When enjoying outdoor activities apply a screen with at least a 30 SPF that will protect against UVA and UVB rays. You should reapply after 30 minutes.

Outdoor Toys: When pulling out the wagons and outdoor toys, be sure that they are still safe and in good condition.

Hydrate: When you are outside in the sun it is important to stay hydrated. Plenty of water and a banana can help to balance electrolytes and keep you from becoming dehydrated. Sports drinks contain electrolytes but also contain a lot of sugar. Look for signs of dehydration which can include dizziness, headache, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, muscle cramps and lethargy.

Mouth Guards: If you are breaking out the ball and bat this spring, don’t forget the mouth guard. A mouth guard from your local sporting goods store can help to prevent injury.

Protection: Helmets are not the only form of protection children need when going for a ride or playing a sport. If your child is just learning wheeled activities, elbow and shin pads can help to prevent scratches when they fall. For rollerbladers it is important that they wear wrist guards to help prevent injury in falls. When playing soccer don’t forget the shin guards.

Shade: Sitting in the shade is a great way to escape the spring sunshine and help cool off. During the season dressing in layers can help to keep you comfortable as the temperature changes.