Keep Summer Fun With These Smart Safety Tips
Summer means good times under the sun, and making memories with family and friends. And you’ll find full appreciation for the warm weather when your summer safety efforts shine. So keep these tips in mind for keeping kids (and adults!) safe this summer.
Be Prepared in Case of Emergency
Emergency situations can happen anywhere, anytime. Prepare yourself for summer hazards by getting an education in outdoor safety.
Take safety training courses. Get CPR certified, take lifeguard classes and learn how to spot things like heat stroke symptoms from your doctor. If you’re planning on spending a lot of time in crowded public places, like a city beach, learn situational awareness techniques to keep an eye on anything suspicious.
Carry a mini first-aid kit. This should include bandages, antibiotic cream, bee sting remedies, sunscreen and sunburn treatment. Make sure you know how to clean and dress small wounds you or your kids might get while out and about. Learn how to make your own DIY first aid kit at home.
Enroll in swimming lessons. Kids, teenagers and even you — especially if it’s been awhile since you got in the pool yourself — can benefit from learning how to swim. Knowing how to swim may reduce the risk of drowning in children ages 1 to 4 and has been shown to increase self-confidence in young children.
Get Serious About Water Safety
Water safety is a chief concern for many parents, especially during the summer. Make sure your trip to the beach is memorable in a good way by following a few simple rules that will keep all your loved ones safe.
Always swim with a buddy. Swimming alone comes with a whole host of risks, like no one being around to help you if you get into trouble. Make sure kids stick together and are wearing life preservers, even if the water is shallow.
Check for deep water. It might look shallow, but lakes, ponds and rivers can be deceiving. Make sure there are no obstacles before diving into the water.
Keep undertow in mind. Rivers, lakes and the ocean all have the ability to tug you under, so make sure children are outfitted with life preservers and don’t swim too far out. If the waves are getting too strong, it’s best to get out altogether.
Heed the warnings. If there are signs about algae, sea animals or pollution, pay attention. Don’t get in the water if the posted warnings say it’s not safe.
Be safe on your boat. Make sure you have enough life jackets for everyone — even pets!
Keep the Bugs Off
Nobody likes bug bites, especially not when you’re having fun outdoors. Protect yourself and your family from itchy bumps and dangerous conditions like Lyme disease, Zika and West Nile virus.
Wear shoes outside. This minimizes the risk of stings and bites. If going into tall grass or the woods, wear long pants and tuck the ends into your socks. It may look silly, but it’ll keep ticks from crawling up your legs.
Watch for stings. If someone gets stung and then develops hives or wheezing, they may be allergic. Use an emergency epinephrine auto-injector, if prescribed by a doctor. Call a doctor or head to the ER if their throat constricts, symptoms don’t go away or someone is stung multiple times.
Mow the lawn. Regular lawn maintenance can reduce the tick population in your yard.
Remove plants and debris in your yard. These are places that can hide ticks and fleas, such as tall grasses, leaves and brush. Also make sure there is no standing water in any containers, as those can be breeding grounds for mosquitoes.
Pest-proof your yard. Place playground equipment away from brush and trees. Put up a fence to keep wildlife out of your yard that might be carrying pests on them. You can also restrict pest migration into your yard by setting up a 3-foot wide barrier of mulch or gravel between your lawn and any nearby woods or fields.
Stack wood away from the house. Not only will this reduce the population of biting insects in or near your home, you’ll better protect your house from termites.
Never use bug spray on infants. For older kids, use it sparingly. Make sure to wash any insect repellent off their skin as soon as they’re indoors.
Beat the Heat
A lot of people look forward to the warmth of summer, especially spending time outside under the sun. Make sure the heat doesn’t spoil the fun by preparing for those super hot days.
Don’t leave kids and pets in the car. Unless going to a dog park or somewhere they can come inside when you arrive, leave pets at home.
Drink more water. The general rule for staying hydrated on a normal day is 2.7 liters of water for men and 3.7 liters for women, but on hot days, you’ll need more. Avoid alcohol and soda.
Protect your skin. Wear loose, lightweight clothing and a hat. Make sure you’re applying and reapply sunscreen regularly and wearing the appropriate SPF level for your skin type.
Avoid the hottest part of the day. Spending time outdoors between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. can expose you to the harshest of the sun’s rays. If you can, stay inside.
Pace yourself. Heat stroke is no joke, so when you exercise or work outside, make sure to take frequent breaks and hydrate with water.
Keeping these tips in mind can help keep summer safe and fun. So don’t forget the sunscreen and get to the beach!