Staying safe over the summer

Stay safe this summer

Often the summer brings better weather, and means that families have more time to spend travelling, attending events, and generally enjoying more time outdoors. This page contains tips and advice on how to keep your family safe and well this summer, whether you are planning to visit the beach, take a family holiday or simply stay at home. 

  • Although most tick bites are harmless and only a small number of ticks are infected with the bacteria that cause Lyme disease, it's still important to remove the tick as quickly as possible. For more information on Lyme disease and how to remove ticks, you can visit the following page Lyme disease - NHS (
  • A bee will usually leave behind a stinger attached to a venom sac. Remove it quickly using a scraping motion, a hard-edged card like a debit card is perfect for removing the sting.
  • Wasps don't leave their stinger which means they can sting again. Clean the area with soap and water and apply an ice pack wrapped in cloth or a wet cloth for a few minutes. Use an age appropriate antihistamine to help with pain and itching, you can also apply calamine lotion.
  • If you think your child may be having an allergic reaction to an insect bite, there is more information on our Allergies page.
  • Call 999 if a child shows signs of anaphylaxis after a bite (the signs of anaphylaxis can be found on the following website Anaphylaxis - NHS ( Symptoms include swelling of mouth, tongue and airway, which needs to be treated immediately.

  • Dehydration means your body loses more fluid than you take in. Drink plenty of fluids to stay safe.
  • Give your child frequent water breaks and spray down children with a spray bottle. Take cool baths and showers in extreme heat conditions.
  • Know the signs of dehydration: sunken eyes, drowsy, sunken fontanelle (soft spot on baby's head), tiredenss, dizziness, feeling sick or being sick, being very thirsty, headache or no urine passed for 12 hours.
  • If a child is still feeling unwell (confused, shortness of breath, high temperature above 40C, not sweating or loss of consciousness) after 30 mins of resting in a cool place and drinking plenty of water then call 999. Heatstroke can be very serious if not treated quickly. Put the child in the recovery position if they lose consciousness while you're waiting for help. For more information visit Heat exhaustion and heatstroke - NHS ( 

Travel vaccinations

If you're planning to travel outside the UK, you may need to be vaccinated against some of the serious diseases found in other parts of the world. If possible, see your GP or a private travel clinic at least 6 to 8 weeks before you're due to travel. Some vaccines need to be given well in advance to allow your body to develop immunity. And some vaccines involve a number of doses spread over several weeks or months.

Some countries require proof of vaccination (for example, for polio or yellow fever vaccination), which must be documented on an International Certificate of Vaccination or Prophylaxis (ICVP) before you enter or when you leave a country.

Saudi Arabia requires proof of vaccination against certain types of meningitis for visitors arriving for the Hajj and Umrah pilgrimages.

Even if an ICVP is not required, it's still a good idea to take a record of the vaccinations you have had with you.

For information about travel advice including vaccines recommendations, malaria and outbreaks, please see:

·        NaTHNaC - Home (

·        Destinations - Fit for Travel


Travel Vaccinations: What Parents Need to Know

Planning a Trip?

If you're planning a trip outside the UK, it's important to check if you and your family need any vaccinations to protect against serious diseases found in other parts of the world. Here's a simple guide to help you navigate travel vaccinations.

When to See Your GP

Try to visit your GP or a private travel clinic at least 6 to 8 weeks before your travel date. Some vaccines need time to work, and others may require multiple doses over several weeks or months.

Where to Find Vaccine Information

You can find detailed information on available travel vaccines here: Available travel vaccines - NHS (

Proof of Vaccination

Certain countries may require proof of vaccination, documented on an International Certificate of Vaccination or Prophylaxis (ICVP). For example:

·        Polio

·        Yellow Fever

Special Requirements:

Saudi Arabia: Visitors for the Hajj and Umrah pilgrimages must show proof of vaccination against specific types of meningitis.

Keep a Record

Even if an ICVP is not needed, it's a good idea to carry a record of all the vaccinations you and your family have received.

Additional Resources

For more detailed travel advice, including vaccine recommendations, malaria prevention, and outbreak information, visit:

·        NaTHNaC - Home (

·        Destinations - Fit for Travel

Stay safe and enjoy your travels!

  • Check playgrounds for hazards, such as rusted or broken equipment and dangerous surfaces.
  • Remove necklaces, scarves or clothing with drawstrings that can get caught on equipment.
  • Actively supervise children on playgrounds and don't let them use equipment that isn't for their age range.
  • Always wear a helmet when bike riding, but take it off while on playground equipment.
  • Check playground equipment in the summertime. It can become dangerously hot, especially metal slides, handrails, and steps.
  • Teach your child to use the equipment correctly. Slide feet first, don't climb outside rails and no standing on swings.
  • Leave bikes, backpacks, and bags away from the equipment and the play area so they don't become a trip hazard.

Water safety

Having fun in the sun at the beach or around pools are common activities during the summer months. It is important to understand how to keep your families safe in these environments. Please see below for some top safety tips.

  • Keep babies less than 6 months old out of the sun, and keep older babies in the shade as much as possible.
  • Stay in the shade when possible and try to keep out of the sun between 11am and 3pm, when it's at it's strongest.
  • Make sure your sunscreen protects against UVA & UVB rays. Apply regularly and use a sunscreen with a minimum of SPF30.
  • Make sure your sunscreen is in date, the majority of brands should be replaced every 12 months.
  • Put children in a T-shirt or UV protective suit where possible and remember to keep their shoulders covered.
  • Wear sun hats.
  • At the beach, swim only in designated, supervised areas and swim between the red and yellow flags. Be mindful of undercurrents and hazards.
  • Supervision is key. Never leave a child unattended near water and be mindful of winds and currents when using inflatables.
  • Check safety arrangements for swimming pools and paddling pools.
  • Empty the paddling pool out after you have used it.
  • Ensure you know the pool depths before your children enter the pool for the first time and that these are safe for your child.
  • Do not asssume that when using a public pool, the lifeguard is responsible for your child. Sadly, drowning can happen quickly and quietly and so it is important to always supervise your child both in and around the pool. 
  • If your child is using a rubber ring or armbands, always ensure you are in the water and within reaching distance. 
  • Speak to your child about staying safe in water.
  • It is a good idea to teach your child to observe water safety signs, such as no diving, no swimming or deep water as early as possible. 

First Aid for Life have a Water safety guide for children and parents, which has more helpful information and advice, and can be found on the following link Water safety this summer – a guide for children and parents - First Aid for Life

The Child Accident Prevention Trust also have useful information on how to prevent drowing in children, which can be found on the following link Child drowning prevention: Water safety for kids (

  • If you are in a holiday let, make sure you're aware of where the cleaning products are stored and keep them out of reach of children.
  • If it's a hot day and the windows are open in the house, make sure they're not accessible to younger children.
  • Keep your home cool by closing the curtains in rooms that face the sun and ensure there is plenty of ventilation.
  • Be aware of BBQ's and keep children and any garden games away from the cooking area.
  • Keep children away when you mow the lawn as they are often attracted to mowers and should be made aware of the dangers.
  • Never leave the lawnmower unattended and don't let a child under the age of 16 ride a sit-on lawn mower.
  • If you're out and about on a bike ride or electric scooter, make sure your child always wears a helmet.

It is important that you teach your child about strangers. You can protect your child by teaching them about who is a stranger, who are safe strangers and how to recognise and handle dangerous situations. Prevent UK have developed a 'What to teach children about strangers' guide, which can be found on the following link

Clever Never Goes is the new, child-friendly lesson that teaches children how to stay safe from abduction from outside. For more information click on the following link Home - Clever Never Goes

The NSPCC provides tips to help you keep children safe in the home, away from home and online. Visit the following link for more information Comprehensive child safety guide NSPCC.

Information specifically about leaving your child at home alone, including a helpful checklist and details around the law can be found here Leaving Your Child Home Alone - Advice | NSPCC.

Whether you’re walking, cycling, or scooting, it’s a fabulous activity that doesn’t have to cost a thing. Plus, you can use this time to teach your children about road safety too.

  • Encourage small children to hold your hand and keep on the pavement out of harm's way.
  • Talk about what you can see and hear.
  • Ask questions to help them understand simple ideas like ‘fast’ and ‘slow’, as well as where the pavement ends, and the road begins.
  • Remember, children will copy what you do, so try to avoid stepping into the road without making it obvious you’re checking it’s safe to cross first.

You'll find more road safety tips on the child accident prevention trust website, plus, some great activity sheets for children:

Things to consider when going on holiday:

  • Invest in a first aid kit including pain relief and antihistamines. Visit St Johns Ambulance website for further details.
  • Make yourself aware of where your nearest pharmacy, urgent treatment centre or minor injuries unit is in advance of going away.
  • Make sure you have plenty of any regular prescribed medication before going away.
  • Make yourself aware of your local surroundings and get to know the property that you are staying in. Assess hazards and dangers.
  • If you are abroad, make yourself aware of the emergency services telephone numbers.
  • If you are going on a long journey, make sure to carry plenty of water.

If you are are travelling abroad, it is important to take out the right travel insurance before you go. Check what your insurance provides including what medical cover is included. For more advice about travel insurance please visit Foreign travel insurance - GOV.UK (

The UK Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) lets you get necessary state healthcare in the European Economic Area (EEA), and some other countries, on the same basis as a resident of that country. This may be free or it may require a payment equivalent to that which a local resident would pay. For more information, including how to apply for a GHIC, please click on the following link Applying for healthcare cover abroad (GHIC and EHIC) - NHS (

The national NHS website ( has helpful information on the services that the NHS provides if you need urgent or emergency medical help. Please visit the link for more information Urgent and emergency care services - NHS (

It includes information on:

  • When to use NHS 111 online or call 111
  • When to call 999
  • When to go to A&E
  • When to visit an ugent treatment centre (UTC)
  • Finding urgent and emergency care services

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