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Tips for Planning a Safe Summer for You and Your Family

Safety | June 10, 2021
Daughter kisses mom's cheek at beach
Keep in mind these important safety reminders as we head into a more carefree summer.

As we enter summer with hope, there is much to celebrate. If you are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, you can enjoy more freedom and get back to your favorite summer activities. Amid all this excitement though, it’s important to make sure that we don’t forget about the top summer safety concerns. Beyond taking basic precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19 , general safety precautions are a must to ensure you and your family have a safe and fun summer.

Safely Navigating the Water

Water safety should always be a top priority. As you head out to the pool, lake, beach or hop aboard a boat, be sure to always supervise your children. Remember to always keep them within arm’s length, even in shallow water. Drowning is a real risk, especially in the summer, and remains the leading cause of accidental death. The sad truth is that it can only take a second.

Additionally, whenever going out on a boat, remember to wear a life jacket, bring a fully charged cellphone and sunscreen, and leave your “float plan” behind with a friend. A float plan ensures that a person who is not on board knows your whereabouts. For more details on water safety, review the “layers” approach to keeping everyone safe in the water.

Taking Cover from the Sun

More fun in the sun also means more exposure to harmful sun rays that are stronger in the summer. Remember, the link between sun exposure and cancer, skin damage and other health problems is high. The first line of defense is slathering on sunscreen with a SPF of at least 15 (30 is highly recommended), which should be reapplied every two hours or immediately after being in the water. The FDA also recommends wearing sun-protective clothing, a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses to protect from the UV rays.

If you or your family gets sunburned, it’s best to treat the burn with aloe vera. You may also try an over-the-counter pain medication, following the directions on the label. If those remedies don’t work, seek medical attention. For more details, check out the ABCDEs of protecting your skin this summer.

Too Hot in the Heat

As heat rises in the summer and we become more active, heat stroke can become a concern and be life-threatening. In this state the body is no longer able to cool itself down. Perhaps one of the best ways to avoid heat stroke is to make sure you are hydrated. If you feel like you’re overheating, don’t hesitate to sit in the shade and get a glass of water. The signs of heat stroke include headaches, dizziness, nausea and vomiting. Should your family members have any of these symptoms immediately call 911, move them to a shaded area, hydrate them and douse them in cold water.

How to Handle Fireworks

The Fourth of July will soon be upon us, which means many of us will celebrate with fireworks. Unfortunately, firework incidents are common and often cause injuries and fires. Remember: Always wear protective gear when handling fireworks, never hold fireworks or light them indoors and only use them away from people. Additionally, never allow your children to handle a lighted firework. It’s a good idea to keep a bucket of water nearby to fully extinguish fireworks. An even better idea is to watch a professional fireworks show, if available.

Notes on Kids’ Safety

Playgrounds – Playgrounds are great fun but can also be dangerous if the equipment is outdated and not in good condition. Make sure there are guardrails and protective surfacing on a playground such as mulch or mats ensuring a soft landing. Carefully check for sharp points or edges on equipment. and always supervise your children at play.

Cycling – Riding bikes is a popular kid summer activity. Make sure your children always wear a helmet to protect them from head injuries.

Vehicles – The inside of cars get hot extremely quickly in the summer heat. Never leave your kids in a car unattended, even with the window cracked.

A First-Aid Kit Makes a Great Travel Companion

If you’re traveling this summer, it’s a great idea to put together an essential first aid travel kit.  This kit should include bug repellent, antihistamine, band-aids, antibiotic cream, hydrocortisone cream, rubbing alcohol, digital thermometers, tweezers and cold packs. Check out this first-aid kit supply list.

Consider a Check-up Before You Check Out

Before you begin your summer travel and adventures is a perfect time to get a check-up. Schedule a wellness visit with your primary care provider or child’s pediatrician to make sure you’re in shipshape for summer fun.

Schedule Your COVID-19 Vaccine

COVID-19 vaccines are free, safe and highly effective. If you or your family members aged 12 and older haven’t gotten the vaccine yet, now is the perfect time to protect yourself and your loved ones so that you can enjoy the freedom to return to your favorite activities. If you have questions or concerns about the vaccine, talk to your doctor, who can help you make an informed decision. Learn more about the COVID-19 vaccine and how to schedule an appointment today.

Summer Safety Checklist

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