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Mum issues stark warning why kids should never wear blue swimwear & 6 other deadly dangers lurking in your garden

THE SUN’S finally out and the summer holidays are approaching, which means we can all hopefully look forward to spending the long, hot days outside in the garden or at the local park.

The weather being nice is a godsend, especially for parents as finding new things to do to keep the kids entertained can feel like a full-time job in itself.

Olympic swimming pro and mum Rebecca Adlington has warned how important it is to pick your kids’ swimwear carefully
Bright, neon colours are good as they can be seen underwater – whereas blue or white is barely visible

And it’s even more important to be aware of the new hidden dangers the summer months can bring too, as even seemingly small, harmless decisions – like choosing the colour of your child’s swimming costume – can prove fatal.

Just this week Olympic gold medallist and mum-of-two Rebecca Adlington called for the next government to ban “dangerous” coloured swimming costumes because they cannot be easily seen under water.

Blue, white and grey swimwear is a lot harder to see – as was previously proven by another mum, who went viral when she posted on Instagram a picture of both her children in the pool – one in neon orange and one in blue swimwear.  

“Pool safety starts all the way at what they wear while swimming!” she said, showing how big a difference costume colour made when trying to locate her child underwater.

Playground ‘no-go’ areas

It’s also important not to underestimate how quickly the sun’s rays can cause everyday kids’ equipment to really heat up and become a potential hazard – particularly slides.

A BBC Newsnight investigation using thermal imaging showed a children’s slide reaching nearly 72C and tarmac surfacing tipping 56C.

“It gives a good idea of how playgrounds can become a no-go area, and a sense of where the heat gets trapped, such as tarmac,” Newsnight reporter Yasminara Khan explained.

Slide safety

That’s not the only worry either, with the popular playground apparatus also responsible for broken bones too.

Previously an American study found more than 350,000 children under the age of six were injured on slides in the US between 2002 and 2015, and many of those injuries were leg fractures.

A lot of injuries occur when smaller children are going down a slide on their parent’s lap, causing Nikki Jurcutz, the ex-paramedic behind the child and baby first aid education page Tiny Hearts, to plead with parents to “please be careful when going down the slide with kids”.

Hose pipe horror

If exposed to direct sunlight, water sitting still in a hose pipe can reach extraordinary temperatures
Las Vegas Fire Department

While you might associate getting the hose pipe out as a way to cool down your little ones, it can actually have the complete opposite effect if not careful.

Parents were warned to be careful after a little boy in America suffered second-degree burns caused by a garden hose pipe heating up.

His mum was left horrified when she sprayed her little boy with the water in the hose while filling his paddling pool, not realising the temperature the water had climbed to.

Police in the San Tan Valley, Arizona, explained that water left in a hose during warm temperatures can become dangerously hot – reaching 66C if the air temperature is 46C.

Not such a hot idea

When it really hots up, we’re all desperate for clever hacks and hints to keep us cool down, and some people swear by filling a hot water bottle with cold water and popping it in the freezer.

However, while it may seem like a clever trick to help you sleep on the surface, it could actually cause a problem later down the line.

This is because freezing the bottle could cause the rubber to expand and tear, which means the next time you heat it up with much hotter water it could leak – a particular problem if filled with boiling hot liquid.

This is why it’s recommended to not use the same bottle for both summer and winter, and to ensure the bottle is only filled halfway, and popped in the freezer for short periods of time.

Five ways to keep your kids cool in the heat

IT can be really difficult - and costly - to keep kids cool when it's hot outside. But Fabulous Digital Senior Reporter and mum-of-two Sarah Bull shares five ways to help, and they won't break the budget either.

Strip them off

It might sound simple, but stripping kids off at home can really help them regulate their temperature when it’s warm outside. Just remember to regularly apply suncream, as more of their skin will be exposed to the sun.

Cool down bedrooms before nighttime

When it’s hot outside, it can be difficult for kids to go to sleep – especially if their bedroom feels like an oven. If you have a room that’s not in direct sunshine, keep the windows open to let in a breeze. It’s also a good idea to keep the curtains closed, to prevent the room from heating up.

Wear a hat

Another simple technique, but one that really works. Make sure that if your kids are playing outside, they’ve got a hat on. It keeps their face and head shielded from the sun, and also helps if you’ve got a little one who struggles with bright sunlight. If your tot struggles to keep a hat on, try one with a strap that goes under the chin to help.

Avoid the car

The car can be one of the hottest places during a heatwave, and often takes a long time to cool down. If you have the option, it’s better to stay at home rather than taking kids out anywhere in a hot car.

Stay hydrated

This is always important, but even more so in a heatwave. Make sure you’re regularly reminding your kids to have a drink, and top them up with cool liquids whenever you can. Use ice too to ensure it’s as cold as it can possibly be.

Faux – no

Many people opt for artificial grass as it’s easy to look after – but there are drawbacks

While an increasing number of people are opting for artificial grass instead of a natural lawn, the jury’s out on whether the positives outweigh the potential negatives.

And there are some people who worry about the risk of injury when it heats up – a potential problem for both young children and pets, although many insist modern versions using heat resistant technology is completely safe.

Devon Lost Search and Rescue used drones to compare how hot artificial grass got compared to normal grass in 2021.

Normal grass was 28.2C and artificial grass was 58.2C in full sun – worrying for adults, children and pets. 

Additionally, having a fake plastic lawn is as environmentally dangerous as “blowing smoke in your baby’s face”, gardening experts have warned.

Lynne Marcus, chairperson of the Society of Garden Designers, said: “We want to get through to people who are thinking of putting in artificial grass that it’s as serious as not wearing a seatbelt or blowing smoke in your baby’s face.

“I find it remarkable that people think it’s not OK to get a plastic bag, but it’s OK to cover your whole garden with plastic sheeting, which is what you’re effectively doing – and destroying 1,000 years of topsoil to do it.”

Pram safety

youtube/Channel Mum
One mum tested how quickly a covered pram would heat up – and the results were staggering[/caption]

When out and about in the sun we all know staying in the shade and out of direct sunlight is important, but parenting experts state you should never cover your baby’s pram with a blanket or muslin cloth.

This is because they can trap heat in and cause the pram to soar in temperature, meaning there’s a risk your child could overheat.

To prove this, a mum previously carried out two controlled tests over two seven-minute time spans.

On one occasion the pram, which contained a doll, was covered by a muslin cloth and on one occasion it was not.

Over a period of seven minutes, when left open and uncovered, the pram heated up from 23.3 degrees to 29.9 degrees – an increase of just over 6.5 degrees.

But over the same amount of time, when covered by a muslin cloth, the pram heated up from 22.0 degrees to a sweltering 35.1 degrees – heating up by 13 degrees.

To avoid this, experts suggest you should invest in a safety certified shade that allows air to circulate and protects from UV rays.

‘Britain’s most dangerous plant’

Finally, it may look like a harmless weed, but the sap of giant hogweed can actually cause pretty severe burns, believe it or not.

The invasive species dubbed “Britain’s most dangerous plant” by experts can cause havoc in the garden and grow over 20ft tall.

Hardy Mill Primary School
To highlight the dangers of giant hogweed, one primary school put out a warning, after one of their pupils suffered nasty blistering[/caption]

It contains furocoumarin, which can make skin extremely sensitive to sunlight, which means if the sap gets onto your skin and it’s then exposed to the sun, your skin can blister badly.

In one particularly bad case for example, a four-year-old developed such severe blistering she required hospital treatment, according to the Manchester Evening News.

Just brushing against the plant is all it takes to cause burns, lesions and blisters, so it’s important to educate your kids on what it looks like so they know to avoid.

Thankfully, by being aware of the dangers, we can all reduce the risk to both ourselves and our children, making for an enjoyable – and safe – summer.

The sap of giant hogweed can cause blisters and long-lasting scars[/caption]

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