Children are full of energy and curiosity, but aren’t always aware of the dangers or risks when they play. This is especially true when they are exploring outside. If you follow a few basic safety tips, you can help keep your child safe while they play outside.
When children live on a farm, they live in a workplace. All too often, both children and their parents consider the entire farm a play space which can be dangerous. Children can be exposed to farm equipment and machinery, chemicals, livestock and other hazards. The best way to keep your child safe while on the farm is to keep them away from risks and to have a designated play area in the farm yard.
To learn more about Children on the Farm, please visit the Canada Safety Council website.
In Ontario, anyone under the age of 18 is required by law to wear a certified helmet when cycling. Helmets sold in Canada need an approved standards label which certifies that the helmet has been tested by the manufacturer to protect your head.
A sport appropriate helmet should be worn whenever a child is on a bicycle or taking part in a wheeled sport, as well as when they are skiing/snowboarding, tobogganing/sledding or skating.
A properly fitted helmet can protect your brain from taking the force of a crash or fall.
Children’s helmets come in a variety of sizes. There are special helmets for toddlers (under 5 years) that provide more protection at the back of the head. Some children outgrow the “toddler” helmet before they are 5 and should use a bigger helmet. Helmets come with extra padding that can be added to make sure the helmet fits properly.
The best way to teach a child to wear a helmet, is to wear one yourself.
To learn more about Helmets, please visit the Parachute Canada website.
For more information about bicycle safety, please see our bicycle safety page.
Extreme heat can be dangerous to everyone, but it is especially dangerous to infants and young children. Be prepared and stay informed about heat and weather alerts. Remember to keep your child cool and hydrated when the temperature rises. Never leave a child or pet in a hot vehicle. When the outside temperature is 23ºC or 73ºF, the temperature inside a vehicle can be extremely dangerous – more than 50ºC or º122F. Always be prepared!
To learn more about Hot Weather Safety, please visit the Health Canada website.
For more information about applying sunscreen, please see our Sun Safety section of our website.
In Canada, pedestrian injuries are one of the leading causes of injury-related deaths in children under 14 years of age. Fortunately over the past decade there has been a slow decrease in the number of pedestrian-related injuries and deaths. We want to see this continue. Download the Kidestrian book.
Teach your children about pedestrian safety as soon as you start going on walks.
Children under the age of nine usually do not have the capacity to make good judgments about traffic. They should always be accompanied by an adult or older child whenever they cross the street.
It is important for you to show and tell your child how to safely cross the road and walk on a sidewalk based on your child’s development.
To learn more about Pedestrian Safety, please visit the Parachute Canada website.
We want our children to have fun and be safe while enjoying the playground equipment in the backyard or at the local park. Children have died when their clothing or drawstrings have been caught on playground equipment or on fences. Children have also died when they become tangled in ropes attached to the playground equipment. By following a few simple tips, you can help keep your child safe while enjoying playground equipment:
- Always supervise children and teach them to use the equipment safely.
- Tuck in all clothing that can get caught on the playground equipment.
- Remove all loose items like scarves or dress-up capes.
- Remove cords and drawstrings from children’s hoods, hats and jackets.
- Take off bicycle helmets before using the playground equipment as they can get trapped on the equipment and strangle a child.
- Make sure children do not tie skipping ropes to slides or other playground equipment.
To learn more about Playground Safety, please visit the Caring for Kids website (Canadian Paediatric Society).
Trampolines are not a safe way for children to play and are not recommended by Parachute Canada, the Canadian Paediatric Society and the Canadian Academy of Sports Medicine. Trampolines are considered dangerous and can lead to injuries such as cuts & bruises, sprains & strains, broken bones, head injuries, and though rare, injuries to the back and neck that can lead to paralysis or even death. Trampolines with safety nets are still not recommended.
To learn more about Trampolines, please visit the Parachute Canada website.
Swimming, bath time and water play can be a lot of fun for young children and is a great way to stay active and healthy. Water safety is extremely important as drowning is the second most common cause of death for Canadian children under the age of 5. Every year almost 60 children drown and another 140 children are hospitalized because of near-drowning that can have long-term health effects, which can affect the way a child thinks, plays and learns (Parachute, 2016).
Children can drown in as little as 2.5cm (1 inch) of water. Most tragedies happen in backyard pools, but can happen anywhere around the home, such as in a bathtub or a backyard stream or pond and can even happen in a bucket or pail filled with water, an ice chest with melted ice or a rain barrel.
Backyard pools should have a fence and a self-closing gate that will keep young children away from them and the gate should be kept locked at all times. By using a personal floatation device (PFD) and teaching children to swim, we can all help prevent drowning.
All children should be supervised by an adult, within arm’s reach, when they are in or around water and should never be left alone in a pool or bathtub, not even for a moment.
To learn more about childhood safety, the Middlesex-London Health Unit has a video series on their website called Give Your Child a Safe Start. You can also visit the Parachute Canada website for more information about Drowning.
Winter is a great time of year for families to enjoy the bright sun on a snowy day. By following a few winter safety tips, children can play safe and have fun all year round.
- Young children produce less body heat and get cold more quickly than adults.
- Check often to make sure your child is warm and dry while playing outside.
- Dress your child in layers that can easily be put on and taken off.
- If pulling an infant and/or young child in a sled, make sure they are well bundled with extra layers.
- Any child under 8 years of age should play with a buddy while outside.
- Watch for cold weather alerts. If one is issued, it is not safe to send your child outdoors to play as the risk of frostbite to exposed skin is high.
- Apply sunscreen to exposed skin even on cloudy days.
- Helmets should be worn during many winter activities including tobogganing/sledding, skating, skiing or snowboarding
To learn more about Winter Safety, please visit the Caring for Kids website (Canadian Paediatric Society).