New York, U.S.A. — Summer is a time for barbecues, beach, sun and safety. While the kids may be enjoying their summer vacation, it’s up to the parents to make sure their homes are safe, inside and out, for children of all ages.

Here are some simple steps to help protect children against potential home hazards.

Here comes the sun

Infants six months or younger should be kept out of direct sunlight. Generously apply sunscreen with at least SPF 15 to all children over six months, and choose sunglasses that provide 100 percent UVA and UVB protection. Try to limit sun exposure during the sun’s peak hours of 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., when rays are strongest. Provide shade for your backyard with decorative umbrellas, tents or canopies.

Beat the heat

As the heat temperature rises make sure children stay hydrated. Children should not be out in the heat for more than 30 minutes without a glass of water. To prevent dehydration, kids should drink 12 ounces of fluid 30 minutes before an activity begins and take mandatory fluid breaks. Bring them inside for at least 15 minutes for water and snacks.

Start up the grill

Nothing says summer like outdoor grilling. Curious, hungry children will be drawn to the smell and sight of the grill, so be sure to keep them at least three feet away from the barbecue, especially when it is lit and for hours afterwards, when it is still hot to the touch. Never use a gas or charcoal grill in an enclosed area, as carbon monoxide could be produced.

Enjoy the view

It’s always nice to let the beauty of summer into your home by drawing up window blinds and shades, just be sure to prevent accidents by using only cordless window coverings in homes with young children. Window coverings made prior to 2001 may have looped pull cords that pose a potential strangulation risk to small children.

Inner cords running through the slats of pre-2001 window blinds can also be potentially hazardous, because they lack cord stops that prevent children from forming loops when pulling on the cord. The Window Covering Safety Council (WCSC) urges parents to replace window coverings purchased before 2001 with today’s safer, cordless designs. For more information, visit www.windowcoverings.org.