Itís that time of year again!† The weather is warmer, the days are longer, and the kids are out of school.† Welcome back, summer.† Weíve missed you.† Itís finally time for some well-deserved fun in the sun, but before you reach for your swimming suits and sandals, take a moment to review our summer safety list.
BEAT THE HEAT
Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate
Dehydration and heat exhaustion go hand-in-hand. †To stay hydrated, drink plenty of water and avoid soda.
Tans are great, but sunburn is not.† Wear a minimum SPF 15 and reapply after prolonged exposure, sweating, or swimming.†
BE WATER SMART
Children Donít Float
Children in any watercraft- boat, kayak, canoe, etc- need properly fitting life jackets.† Think of a boat as a car and a life jacket as a car seat.† Each is critical to your childís safety.† Even when docked or loading on/off a pier, children are safest with lifejackets on.
Lifeguards Are Busy
Even the most vigilant lifeguard canít see everything going on every moment of her shift.† In crowded spaces, itís easy to feel your children are safer from drowning, but thatís usually not the case.† Never leave children unattended and think of lifeguards as a secondary safeguard.† Your childís first line of defense is you!
Know the Signs of Drowning
Itís rare, but itís possible to drown hours after playing in the water.† Look out for coughing, chest pain, difficulty talking and breathing and extreme fatigue.† Read more about dry and secondary drowning here.
Donít Fight a Current or Rip Tide
Itís stronger than you and your kids.† Go with the flow or, if possible, swim along the shore until you can get out and swim to safety.
Donít†Jump or Dive in Unfamiliar Water
It may be too shallow or hiding rocks underneath
More Tips for Water Safety
Donít go in water above your head unless you know how to swim
Learn CPR (just Google ďLearn CPR near meĒ for local classes)
Donít roughhouse with others†
BE FIRE SMART
Fireworks, sparklers, campfires, barbecuingÖ these are all a part of the summer fun.
Remember, Fireworks Cause Thousands of Fires and Injuries Every Year
Leave the Roman Candles to the adults.† Be extra vigilant with sparklers, which burn at about 2000į.† Though the more innocuous members of the firework family, they can leave nasty burns and ignite clothing.† When lighting any firework, keep everyone at a safe distance and donít stand over a lit (or dud) firework.† Read more on firework safety here.
When done with a fire, cover with sand, soil, or douse hot coal with water.† In very dry weather just one spark can wreak havoc.
GET IN TOUCH WITH YOUR ANIMAL SIDE
Mosquitoes, Ticks, and Other Creepy-Crawlies are Vectors of Disease
To reduce infection, wear protective clothing in deep, wooded areas and use bug repellant while in infested areas.† Avoid warm, stagnant water as they are breeding grounds for bugs.
Getting a bite, well, bites.† Encourage kids to steer clear of unfamiliar animals and teach them body-cues for agitated behavior in pets and strays.† For snakes, avoid their main hangouts like tall grass, branches/logs, and rocky areas.† If out hiking wear pants and boots and teach kids to ďlook before you reach,Ē as a snake can be just around the corner.† For more on avoiding snake bites, check this out.
Summer is about adventure and fun, thereís no need to live in a bubble because of the heightened risks the seasons bring.† A little planning can go a long way to keeping you and your family happy and safe.† Remember an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.