Spring has sprung, today is the first day of spring! Spring can be a time to celebrate warmer temperatures and sunshine; however, it’s important to be aware of hazards related to spring.

Springtime, for most children means more outdoor activities. For all parents this means being extra careful to keep your children safe and healthy. Here are some topics to help keep you and your family safe this spring.

Weather: Springtime can be unpredictable and brings varying weather conditions and more outdoor play. Weather permitting, Wee Watch children must be outside for approximately 2 hours a day. Now that the weather is getting warmer children may be spending even more time outside. If you are a parent sending your child to child care, be sure to dress them according to the weather and pack extra clothing for possible weather changes.

Flooding: Spring is also the time of year for flooding. Snow melting and heavy spring rain falls can fill rivers and streams quickly and flooding can occur. Here is what you can do to stay safe:

  • If flooding occurs, move to higher ground.
  • Steer clear of any standing, flowing or rising water.
  • Follow guidance of local authorities, they are most informed and know of areas to avoid.
  • Children should never play near rising water or storm drains.
  • If you come upon a flooded road while driving, turn around and go another way. The depth of the water is not obvious and the road may be washed away.
  • If you are caught on a flooded road and water is rising around you, get out of the car quickly and move to higher ground. Most cars can be swept away by less than two feet of moving water.
  • Be especially cautious at night when it is harder to recognize flood danger.

Check Play Equipment: It’s been a long winter and now that the snow is disappearing, children will want to get out there and do things they were unable to do in the winter months; playing on the swing set, going to the park, riding their bikes/wagons, or playing sports. It is important to check all outdoor play equipment to be sure it is still in safe working condition.

  • Make sure playgrounds have good railings, barriers and hand rails to prevent falls.
  • Look for broken glass, garbage, sharp edges, and bolts that stick out. Pick up any glass or garbage before your child plays.
  • Dig the heel of your shoe into the surface to see how deep it is. It should be 15 to 30 cm (six to 12 inches) deep. If the surface has worn away at the bottom of a slide or under a swing, you can push more of it into place with your shoe.
  • Give bikes a spring tune up: There are a lot of parts to a bike that keep it working. Check this link for a complete guide to giving your bike a spring tune up //tinyurl.com/lx7jj3h
  • Helmets: These are a vital piece of equipment for when your child goes cycling, scooting, roller skating or skateboarding, so make sure their helmets still fit. Helmets shouldn’t have any breaks, dents or cracks in them – if they do, they have been compromised and won’t offer the level of safety they would when new, so now’s the time to replace them.
  • Trampolines: After months of neglect they need some TLC. Check that all springs are tight and there are no tears or holes in any of the netting, padding or other material.