With the arrival of summer, the world around us transforms into a playground of endless adventures and outdoor fun. As we bask in the warm rays of the sun, it’s essential to ensure the safety of ourselves and our loved ones. Whether you’re planning beach trips, hikes or participating in sports, this blog aims to equip you with valuable summer safety tips. From sun protection to water safety and everything in between.
Sunburns can be incredibly painful and cause an increased risk of developing skin cancer. Intense burns can blister and require medical attention. Use sunscreen when you know you or your child will be spending a lot of time outside to avoid sunburn. Sunscreen should be at least 30 SPF and reapplied every 2 hours. Reapply more frequently when in water or sweating.
Practice water safety
Taking a dip at the pool or beach is a great way to cool off in summer. Practice water safety with these tips to keep you and your family safe. Visit our Swimming Safety blog to read more about these tips.
- Swim in supervised areas.
- Have floating devices on hand for inexperienced swimmers.
- Teach kids how to swim.
- Watch for warnings: rip tides, high tides, bad weather, etc.
- Practice safe diving.
Bites and stings
Prepare before they happen
Bugs are a natural part of summer. An itchy bite is annoying but when scratched aggressively these annoying spots can become a major problem if infected. Have anti-itch relief creams and calamine lotion on hand in the event of a bite.
To avoid getting bites and stings in the first place use insect repellent with 10-30% DEET, lemon eucalyptus oil, or picaridin. Make sure to check the product directions for age requirements. Children should keep their shoes on when playing outdoors, and stay away from areas prone to bees and wasps to help avoid stings.
If your child has had an allergic reaction to a bite or sting before, have an action plan in case it happens again. Share this plan with those supervising your child when you’re not around. If you have one, keep an epinephrine auto-injector near your child at all times whether it be with you or another adult who is supervising your child.
When a bite or sting occurs
If your child gets a bug bite, apply an anti-itch cream or calamine lotion. Encourage kids not to scratch the area. Use band-aids over bites for children prone to scratching anyways.
In the case of a sting, remove the stinger and wash the area with soap and water. Then apply an ice pack and elevate the area if possible to reduce swelling.
If your child experiences a bite or sting for the first time keep them under close supervision for the next several hours to notice if an allergic reaction begins to take place. If you see any severe symptoms, like difficulty breathing, consistent vomiting, loss of consciousness, or throat tightness take them to the emergency room. Also seek immediate medical attention if you notice two or more mild symptoms, like hives with diarrhea and coughing with belly pain.
Common Bug Bites and How to Treat Them
Bugs like mosquitos, ticks, and spiders are common to come across. We’ll take a look at these common bug bites and how to treat them in addition to how bites can be avoided.
Avoid poison ivy
Poison ivy can grow anywhere. Teach your kids how to identify poison ivy. “Leaves of three, leave them be” serves as a catchy reminder. Make sure to wear long sleeves and pants when hiking. If your child comes into contact with poison ivy, wash the area thoroughly with soap and water. Pets can spread the rash from their fur if they come into contact with it. If this happens, bathe the pet thoroughly to ensure the oils from the plant are cleaned from their fur.
Beat the heat
Conditions like heat exhaustion and heat stroke are no joke. Making an effort to stay hydrated, take breaks from spending time outside, and avoid high-energy activities during mid-day (the hottest part of the day) will help limit heat and sun exposure.
Precautions for Sun and Heat Exposure
Certain health hazards are more probable during Summer than in any other season. These risks concern sun and heat exposure. The good news is that precautions against these hazards are easy to follow, and can be critical in avoiding sunburns, heat stroke, and other serious conditions.
Summer is a time for sporting leagues and outdoor activities like hiking, biking, and skateboarding. Children should take proper precautions to avoid injuries and accidents.
- Check the road carefully before crossing.
- Wear protective gear like helmets, knee pads, etc. when applicable.
- Stretch before and after exercising.
- Stay hydrated when exercising.
- Young children should be supervised when using playground equipment.
Summer is an exciting and fun time for families. Taking the time to use sunscreen, prepare for bug bites/ stings, avoid poison ivy, take heat exposure precautions, and avoid injury can keep the family happy and healthy.
Sources: Nemours, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Safe Kids, NHS