May 24th, 2024

Viva Vitality: Tips for safe outdoor play

By Andrea Klassen on May 10, 2024.

As temperatures begin to rise, we’ll see an increase in children playing and enjoying the outdoors. Whether they are cycling, swimming, or playing on the playground, here are some tips to remember when your children are playing outside this spring and summer.

Helmet and cycling safety

It is Alberta Law that all individuals under the age of 18 wear a bicycle helmet. Helmets expire and need to be replaced every five years.

A helmet is also required by law If your child is riding in a carrier or being pulled in a bike trailer.

Regardless of age, every individual riding a bike should wear a helmet – be a good role model!

Check your child’s bicycle for loose chains and improper breaks – fix them if they are not working properly or are broken.

Ensure your child’s helmet is the correct size and fits properly. Use the 2-V-1 rule: two (2) fingers above the eyebrows, a “V” shape around the ears, and one (1) finger underneath the chin.

Make sure your child knows the proper hand signals for cycling and that all cyclists are visible to motorists.

Playground safety

Always supervise your children and ensure they are wearing proper footwear.

Ensure there are no trip hazards in the play area, like tree stumps, rocks, or exposed concrete footings.

Encourage children to use playground equipment that fits their age and stage of development.

Children should never wear helmets, loose drawstrings or loose clothing that can get caught on playground equipment and cause injury.

Water safety

Keep active supervision of children when they are around or in water – stay within reach of your child.

Pool fencing should be at least four feet tall with gates that are self-closing and self-latching.

Use lifejackets properly, including doing up zippers and buckles.

As an adult, train yourself in first aid and CPR.

Get your children trained in swimming to help increase their confidence and skills.

Wear water-appropriate footwear, like water shoes that have grips, that will prevent children from slipping or from getting cuts and scrapes.

Teach older children the rules of safe play around water – walk, don’t run!

Look first into all water sources; ensure there are no hazards in the water that could harm you or your child.

Ninety per cent of injuries are preventable. Get acquainted with the equipment that your child is using to play on or with and prepare to have a safe and injury-free spring and summer.

Andrea Klassen is a health promotion facilitator with the South Zone Population Health Promotion Program. For more, visit and

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