It’s no secret that summertime is a favorite time of the year, especially for families. Children are able to play outside more, family and friends get together for parties or grilling, and it’s a popular time of year to go on vacation. Though these mid-year months can be some of the most fun, some common family activities can be very dangerous.
Here are a few safety tips to keep in mind this summer:
Beat the Heat
With the warm weather comes more activities taking place outside. It’s important that with the rising temperatures, families are making sure their children are staying hydrated and do not overheat. It is important to be aware of the signs of dehydration which include thirst, dry mouth, dizziness, extreme fatigue and weakness. The best defense against dehydration is prevention. When planning activities for the day, try to keep children out of the sun and heat during the peak time of day. Children should be dressed appropriately for the weather, keeping clothes lightweight and light-colored. Clothing that absorbs sweat are ideal for the heat and children should change into dry clothing if their outfit becomes saturated in sweat.
UV ray protection is very important during the summer months. One of the easiest ways to protect against UV rays would be to try and stay in the shade as much as possible and to avoid or limit outdoor activities during the peak hours of the day. Sunscreen should be used on both sunny and cloudy days, and reapplied every two hours. Even if you or your child are in the pool or ocean and do not feel that the sun is that strong, it is important to still use sunscreen as water and sand reflect UV rays causing sunburns to occur more quickly.
It’s also very important to ensure families are protecting children’s eyes while they are outside. The lens of a child allows 70% more UV rays to reach the retina. Ensuring a child is wearing the proper eyewear helps prevent them from developing common eye problems later in life such as macular degeneration and cataracts. When purchasing sunglasses for your child, make sure they block out 100% of UV rays and try glasses that have an elastic band so that the glasses will stay in place and be more comfortable for your child.
A summertime favorite is visiting the beach or playing in the pool. Children should never be left unattended when playing near water or in the water, even if the water is shallow. When children are playing near or in the water, an adult who knows how to swim and preferably one who knows how to perform CPR should be within arm’s reach in case a child slips into the water silently. It is also very important that when a child is near or in the water, that they are wearing the appropriate flotation device. When purchasing a flotation device, ensure that it meets your child’s needs in regards to weight and size requirements, and also have your child try it on to make sure it fits properly.