By: Abigail Ancherico, Guest Contributor
Summer is a time for playing outside, soaking up the bright sun and cooling off in the pool. But with outdoor activities come several safety precautions that are often overlooked. Because June is National Safety Month, we have compiled a list of 5 safety tips that will ensure fun, stress-free family summer adventures.
- Bites & Stings: Keep the mosquitos and ticks from bugging you and your kids this summer with insect repellent. While repellants don’t kill insects, they do help reduce the amount of bites. Never use insect repellant on infants and use products containing DEET sparingly. Stick with a concentration of DEET between 10% and 30%. Make sure to cover up arms and legs to prevent itchy bug bites. If you are bitten, relieve the itchiness by applying hydrocortisone cream or a cold pack to the area.
- Water Safety: Spending time in the pool or ocean is a great way to cool off, but parents should take precautions to avoid risks while maintaining an enjoyable environment. Make sure to enroll your kids in swim lessons and to swim in areas patrolled by lifeguards in order to decrease risk of drowning. The “no running” and “no diving” signs are more than just decorations so make sure your child obeys the rules at the pool. Whoever is monitoring your kids should know CPR in case of an emergency.
- Hydration: During the hottest months of the year it is important for your children to stay hydrated even if they aren’t thirsty. Dehydration is very common among children during summer months due to sports and outdoor activities in the heat. Dizziness, dry mouth, cramps, fatigue, and dark yellow urine are all possible indicators of dehydration. Drinking water or sports drinks that contain electrolytes throughout the day are the best options for hydration.
- Sunburns: Blistering sunburns are painful, but can be easily avoided with all ages and skin types. Make sure to apply and reapply a water-resistant sunscreen that protects from both UVA and UVB rays. Hats, umbrellas, and tents are also helpful for providing protection from the sun.
- Travel Safety: Spontaneous trips with the family throughout the summer can be very fun, but safety is key for these moments of easy living. Always travel with your child’s car seat or make sure they remain buckled up in the back seat while on the road. Never leave children in the car during the heat of the summer. Also, bad driving habits can pick up in the summer so make sure to hit the road during lighter traffic hours when wrecks are less common.
Have a happy and safe summer!