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Going out with your child is an opportunity to experience new things together. A little advance planning and preparation can help ensure your child stays safe on your next adventure!

Father Holding boys handing before riding escalator

Experiencing new and familiar places and events with your child can build lasting memories. But remember, whether you're running errands or on vacation, always keep your child's safety in mind:

  • Securely buckle your child into her car seat before you start driving. As your child grows, be sure you have the appropriate car seat for your child’s current height and weight.

  • Never leave your child in a car alone, even for quick errands like withdrawing cash from the ATM or placing a letter in a mailbox.

  • When you’re at the store, use the shopping cart seatbelt to keep your child securely fastened.

  • Do a mental childproofing check when you visit the homes of friends and families. Look around for potential dangers (like open electrical outlets, toxic plants, and breakables) before letting your child play.

  • Bring along a hat, sunscreen, and water for your child whenever you leave the house.

  • Keep your child in arm’s reach or “touch supervision” distance at all times.

  • For children who aren’t quite verbal yet, or who may be shy, consider having them wear a wristband with their name and your phone number in case they get lost. A personalized wristband can also list any allergies or other special health concerns, if needed.

  • For older children, create a designated “meet up” spot that they can go to if they ever get separated from you.

Father holding daughter at amusement park, mother smiling

Playing outside is a fantastic way for your child to build strength and endurance while staying active. Reduce the risk of injury with these simple steps:

  • Look for age-appropriate equipment at playgrounds, like bucket swings and straight slides for toddlers.

  • Check playground equipment for rusted parts and loose splinters that can pinch a child’s skin, or metal equipment that can heat up quickly in hot weather.

  • Supervise your children closely when they’re near water. Never rely on life vests, water wings, floating baby seats, or swimming lessons alone to keep your child safe.

  • Apply sunscreen of at least 30 SPF to your child’s arms, legs, shoulders, neck, face, and ears 30 minutes before going outside and every 2 hours after. If your child is in the water, you may need to re-apply more frequently.

  • Encourage your child to play in the shade between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. when the sun’s rays are the strongest.

First 5 California
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First 5 California
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