Summer Safety Smarts

Summer means good times under the sun, and making memories with family and friends. However, you’ll appreciate the warm weather more when your summer safety efforts shine as well.

Here are a few tips for keeping kids (and adults, too!) safer this summer:

Be Prepared

Get CPR certified — or brush up on your skills if it’s been awhile.

Carry a mini first-aid kit that includes bee sting remedies, sunscreen and sunburn treatments.

Enroll the kiddos in swim lessons.

Stay Afloat

Teach your children to only get in the water after an adult gives them permission. Remember that swim noodles and other flotation devices don’t replace supervision or life preservers. If you can, visit beaches with a lifeguard on duty, but remember they’re not babysitters.

Always swim with a buddy.

Check the bottom for depth and obstacles before diving into water.

Remember that rivers and lakes can have an undertow.

Don’t swim in water with warnings about algae, sea animals or pollution.

When boating, make sure you have enough life jackets for everyone — even pets!

Prevent Bug Bites

Insist children wear shoes outside to minimize the risk of stings.

If someone gets stung and then develops hives or wheezing, he or she may be allergic. Use an emergency epinephrine auto-injector, if prescribed by a doctor. Contact a doctor if their throat constricts, symptoms don’t go away or someone is stung multiple times.

Never use insect repellent on infants.

For older children, use bug spray sparingly, and wash it off as soon as they’re indoors.

Use these tips to reduce ticks in your yard:

Mow the lawn regularly.

Remove items in your yard that could hide ticks such as tall grasses, leaves, brush and debris.

Restrict migration from woods to lawn with a 3-ft wide barrier of wood chips or gravel.

Set up playground equipment away from brush and trees.

Use a fence to keep wildlife out of your yard.

Stack wood away from the house.

Beat the Heat

Summer safety means protecting yourself and your children on the hottest days of the year:

Always take kids and pets out of the car any time you stop. In fact, unless going to a dog park or somewhere they can come inside when you arrive, leave pets at home.

Drink more liquid than you think you need and avoid alcohol.

Wear loose, lightweight clothing and a hat.

Replace salt lost from sweating by drinking fruit juice or sports drinks.

Avoid spending time outdoors during the hottest part of the day, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Wear sunscreen; sunburn affects the body's ability to cool itself.

Pace yourself when you exercise or work outside.

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Related Topics: Family , Safety Tips , Wellness