Summer Safety for the Whole Family

Monday, June 15, 2015

Summer is a time when children can be more prone to injury. They are playing summer sports and have long exposure out in the sun. June is National Safety Month to help others be aware of the proper precautions to protect themselves this summer. The more information families learn about how to prevent illnesses and injuries, the less likely they will occur.

There are a wide range of potential dangers and safety precautions that occur during the summer. Below are just a few ways to keep your family safe this summer:

Helmet Safety – Helmets can save a child’s life and prevent serious brain injury. In order to properly protect the head, it is important the helmet fit properly. A child should be wearing a helmet whenever they are on bicycles, scooters, skates, rollerblades, and skateboards.

Water Safety – For parents, it is important to always supervise children when they are swimming. Even the best swimmers are capable of drowning. Also, be aware that drowning could occur in a variety of water platforms such as bathtubs, pools, lakes, rivers, and beaches so remain vigilante and don’t become distracted. Make sure your chair is facing your child and to check in with how they’re doing every so often. In the case of the beach, be aware of the undertow which can pull people further off land. If you find yourself caught in undertow, don’t fight the current. Swim in a direction following the shoreline. When out of the current, swim towards shore. If you can’t swim out of the current, float or calmly tread water. When out of the current, swim towards shore. If you are still unable to reach shore, draw attention to yourself by waving your arms, and yelling for help. As a precaution, remain a safe distance in the water and make sure to hold your child’s hand or keep them within arm’s length.

Sun Safety – The time when you are most at risk for sunburn is between 10AM to 6PM. It is recommended that sunscreen be applied 30 minutes before going out in the sun as well as reapplied every two hours. Swimming, sweating or toweling off could require more applications. For optimal sun protection, look for sunscreen with UVA and UVB protection as well as a minimal SPF of 15. The shade and clothes are also good ways to protect your skin from the sun.

Dehydration and Heat Safety – Water is vital to maintaining a healthy body. By playing in the sun, there will be a lot of sweating and fluid loss. Be sure to provide plenty of fluids before, during, after being in the heat. Don’t wait until becoming thirsty to hydrate. For more information, there are proper hydration guidelines available regarding recreational activities and youth sports.

Bugs and Tick Safety – Insects can carry a lot of diseases. Mosquitos are especially active during the summer months, especially at night. With the Zika virus becoming an increasing concern, it is important to make sure to protect your family by wearing bug repellant, lighting citronella candles in your backyard, or wear clothes that cover your arms and legs. Also be careful in the grass as these are popular spots for bugs and ticks. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has some useful tips related to protecting your family from mosquito and tick bites with safe products.