Summer is a great time for everyone to enjoy outdoor activities. Whether you are swimming in your pool, at the beach, on a boat, or playing outside, there are always preventable dangers that could ruin your summer fun. Be smart about how you enjoy the beautiful outdoors this season with these tips.
Water-related activities are popular for getting physical activity and have many health benefits. Here are some ways to keep your pool and swimmers safe this summer.
- Learn cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). Your CPR skills could save someone’s life.
- Never leave children alone in or near the pool or spa, even for a moment; close supervision by a responsible adult is the best way to prevent drowning in children.
- Install a fence at least 4 feet high around all four sides of the pool, separating it from the house and yard.
- Make sure pool gates open out from the pool, and self-close and self-latch at a height children cannot reach.
- Consider alarms on the gate to alert you when someone opens the gate, and surface wave or underwater alarms as an added layer of protection.
Heat-related illness happens when the body’s temperature control system is overloaded. Infants and children up to 4 years of age are at greatest risk. Even young and healthy people can get sick from the heat if they participate in strenuous physical activities during hot weather. For heat-related illness, the best defense is prevention.
- The first, and best, line of defense against harmful ultraviolet radiation (UVR) exposure is covering up. Stay in the shade whenever possible, and limit sun exposure during the peak intensity hours – between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
- Wear a hat with a three-inch brim or a bill facing forward, sunglasses (look for sunglasses that provide 97% -100% protection against both UVA and UVB rays), and clothing with a tight weave.
- On both sunny and cloudy days use a sunscreen with an SPF 15 or greater that protects against UVA and UVB rays.
- Reapply sunscreen every two hours, or after swimming or sweating.
- Use extra caution near water and sand as they reflect UV rays and may result in sunburn more quickly.
- Never leave infants, children, or pets in a parked car, even if the windows are cracked open.
- Seek medical care immediate if your child has symptoms of heat-related illness.
- The intensity of activities that last 15 minutes or more should be reduced whenever high heat or humidity reach critical levels.
- At the beginning of a strenuous exercise program or after traveling to a warmer climate, the intensity and duration of outdoor activities should start low and then gradually increase over 7 to 14 days to acclimate to the heat, particularly if it is very humid.
- Before outdoor physical activities, children should drink freely and should not feel thirsty. During activities less than one hour, water alone is fine. Kids should always have water or a sports drink available and take a break to drink every 20 minutes while active in the heat.
- Clothing should be light-colored and lightweight and limited to one layer of absorbent material to facilitate evaporation of sweat. Sweat-saturated shirts should be replaced by dry clothing.
- Always check the back seat to make sure all children are out of the car when you arrive at your destination.
- The inside of a car can reach dangerous temperatures quickly, even when the outside temperature is not hot. Never leave a child alone in a car, even if you expect to come back soon. Lock your car when it is parked so children cannot get in without supervision.
Recreational boating can be a wonderful way to spend time with family and friends. Make boating safety a priority.
- Children should wear life jackets at all times when on boats, docks or near bodies of water.
- Make sure the life jacket is the right size for your child. The jacket should not be loose and should always be worn as instructed with all straps belted.
Don’t Bug Me, Bugs
Protect yourself and your family by preventing bites and diseases, like Zika, West Nile virus and Lyme disease, which can be transmitted by insects.
- Use an effective insect repellent while playing outdoors.
- Check yourself and your children for ticks. Ticks are easy to remove.
- Don’t use scented soaps, perfumes or hair sprays on your child.
- Avoid areas where insects nest or congregate, such as stagnant pools of water, uncovered foods and gardens where flowers are in bloom.
- Check that your window screens are tightly fitted and repair any holes to keep bugs out of the house.
- Use insect repellents containing DEET when needed to prevent insect-related diseases.
- When outside in the evenings or other times when there are a lot of mosquitoes present, cover up with long sleeved shirts, pants and socks to prevent bites.
Share safety instructions with your family, friends, and neighbors to help prevent a potential disaster. Spread the knowledge to help keep summer filled with fun, not emergency room visits.