Our Top Five Summer Safety Tips
The end of the school year has finally arrived and many of us are more eager to get outdoors than ever before. Whether you’re heading to the park, the woods, or the beach, make sure your family is equipped to adventure safely.
Know the signs of heat exhaustion.
Heat stroke is preceded by lesser symptoms known as heat exhaustion. Signs of heat exhaustion may include:
- Elevated body temperature above 104 degrees Fahrenheit
- Cool, clammy skin
- Excessive thirst
- Excessive sweating
- Nausea or vomiting
- Fainting, lightheadedness, weakness, or dizziness
- Muscle cramps
If you suspect your child may be suffering from heat exhaustion, bring them to a cool, shaded area. Supply them with cool drinks (preferably containing salt, i.e. Gatorade). Cover their skin in cold, wet towels. If your child cannot hold down water or seems disoriented, seek medical attention immediately.
Before you head out on your next outdoor excursion, pack water, ice packs, and sports drinks with salt for dehydration. Try freezing water bottles ahead of time for particularly hot days. Remind your child to take water breaks regularly.
Wear helmets when biking, skateboarding, rollerblading, etc.
Did you know that apart from car accidents, bike accidents are the main source of childhood injuries? Prevent head trauma or bodily injury with a helmet and protective gear, such as kneepads. Make sure your child’s helmet is not too loose or too tight. Teach older children how to safely follow biking etiquette (what to do when passing pedestrians, how to cross the street, etc.).
Wear sunglasses and sunscreen.
UV protection for the skin and eyes is vital when spending prolonged time outdoors, even in less-than-scorching temperatures or on overcast days. Apply sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher and reapply at least every few hours, or right after your child has been in water. If possible, try to schedule outdoor activities before or after peak daylight hours (such as high noon or early afternoon). Use SPF sticks on the face, and make sure to get your ears, the tops of your feet, the backs of your legs… anywhere the sun may touch!
Supervise children near water.
Parents play a vital role in drowning prevention. Always monitor your child while they play in our around water. Clearly mark where they can and cannot safely swim. Make sure to wear a lifejacket while boating, canoeing, or kayaking.