Top 5 summer safety tips
Just like that, summer weather comes to greet us once more! As the eagerness to get outside grows, remember that safe fun is the best kind of fun.
Whether you’re spending the summer months at the pool, tending to yard work, or traveling to new destinations this season, knowing how to stay safe is vital for all ages. Here are our top safety tips for keeping everyone in your family healthy and happy this summer!
1. Lather on the sunscreen
Unprotected skin can burn rather quickly in the sun, which can cause immediate and long-term damage. While sunburn is a typical summer injury, frequent and unprotected exposure to the sun can also lead to skin cancer, including melanoma, which can be deadly. Wearing sunscreen is one of the best summer safety tips to ensure you stay healthy now and in the future.
The American Academy of Dermatology recommends that people of all ages use sunscreen that:
- Offers broad spectrum protection, protecting against both UVA and UVB rays
- Is water- and sweat-resistant
- SPF 30 or higher
For the best protection, you should apply a shot-glass-sized amount of sunscreen at least 30 minutes before going outside, and reapply every two hours or sooner, if you are sweating or swimming.
2. Know the signs of heat exhaustion
Heat-related illnesses, like heat exhaustion or heat stroke, occur when the body can’t properly cool down. During extreme heat, a person’s body temperature can rise faster than the body can cool it down, leading to potential damage to the brain and other organs. Older adults, young children, and people with chronic diseases are at the highest risk of heat exhaustion, although it can happen to anyone who is participating in an activity in the heat without proper protection.
Warning signs can vary but may include feelings of:
- Muscle cramping
- Heart palpitations
If you notice any of these symptoms, go indoors immediately. Rest in a shady or air-conditioned place, drink water, and blot your skin with cool water to help lower your body temperature.
3. Check the weather
The weather can be unpredictable, and even though we can access weather predictions anytime, anywhere, it’s important to adequately prepare for the weather and your surroundings, especially if you are traveling or away from home.
When you know the approximate temperature, you can plan to dress accordingly. Knowing what the weather will be like can also help you determine what to bring to help keep you safe, like impromptu inclement weather, or a high UV index for those sweltering summer days.
4. Pack a first-aid kit
It’s always a good idea to pack a personal first aid kit to help tend to common summer injuries. You can buy a pre-assembled first aid kit online or build your own with supplies such as:
- Soft gauze, tape, and antibiotic ointment for minor cuts and scrapes
- Sunscreen for frequent application in the sun
- Bug spray to ward off mosquitoes and bug bites
- Aloe vera to soothe sunburns
- Band-aids, sports wrap, and cotton swabs
- Cream to ease itchiness and irritation from insect bites or poison ivy
- Ointment for burns
5. Be vigilant about water safety
Did you know that the majority of drownings for kids between one and four actually happen during non-swimming times, like at a backyard barbecue where someone has a fountain, pond, or pool unsupervised?
It’s important to always be aware of your surroundings, and if you have a child that is not a strong swimmer, always practice “touch supervision.” In other words, stay within arms-length of your toddler or young child anytime you are in or near water. (These guidelines can be used for anyone!)
The best thing you can do to protect your family and yourself from the dangers of water is to always listen to park and travel guidelines, find places that are specifically designated for swimming, and have the proper gear with you, like life vests and floaties.
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