Keeping children safe in summer
Now that summer is here, it's time to have fun in the outdoors.
14 May 2020
Temperatures are rising, and services should be mindful of health and safety as always, and encourage staff to consider the risks that can arise in the warmer weather.
With the focus on outdoor fun, there can be many risks to children during summer play. This can include hot equipment, hot surfaces, sunburn, dehydration and access to water (filled water troughs/containers/trays, pools, ponds lakes, ponds, beaches.) Regardless of the time of day, it is important that these risks are managed adequately to ensure children are able to learn and have fun safely.
Services must ensure children are wearing sunscreen and hats, play in shady areas and regularly drink plenty of water. Adequate shade where children play outdoors will minimise unnecessary UV radiation exposure, sunburn and dehydration. For further information about shade in play spaces please see:
Keep in mind that even though the air temperature may feel fine, concrete, asphalt and dark-coloured plastics and rubbers are particularly susceptible to reaching temperatures that can cause burns.
While using a thermometer to test surface temperatures is useful, it is also important that educators use their own judgement. Before children commence outdoor play it is essential that educators test equipment and surfaces by touching them to make sure they are safe for children. Even if children are wearing shoes, other exposed skin can come in contact with the hot ground and hot equipment.
Younger children's reflexes do not kick in the same way as they do with older children, so a child may feel a burn but may not understand to remove themselves from the surface.
For more information on heat and hot surfaces please see:
For additional information about being sun smart please see:
There are also a range of water safety tips and tailored resources available:
If you have any questions, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1800 619 113.
- Teaching and learning