Summer is just around the corner and it’s time for some fun in the sun! Check out these important tips and tricks to make your summer safe.
Up to 80% of the sun’s UV rays can penetrate the skin, even on cloudy days, according to the American Academy of Dermatology.
- Use generous amounts of UVA- and UVB- blocking sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15. Reapply every two hours or more frequently after swimming or perspiring. We often underestimate how often sunscreen should be applied.
- If school-aged children are old enough and want to apply their own sunscreen, supervise and remind them to wash their hands immediately afterwards.
Use insect repellents to guard against ticks, which can carry Lyme Disease, and mosquitoes, which can carry the West Nile Virus and other viruses. Never leave stagnant pools of water around the house. Portable pools should have their water dumped nightly.
- If you use DEET bug spray, do not apply the product to a child’s hands or face in order to avoid ingestion.
- Be mindful of ‘natural’ insect repellents; natural does not always mean effective.
- Avoid using scented soaps on your child. Monitor fruit juices, as bees and wasps are attracted to the sweetness.
Simply stated, children should drink water before exercise and during breaks of every 15 to 20 minutes. Bring a spray bottle of water as part of your ‘going out’ bag this summer.
- Be sure to wash your hands before preparing, serving or eating any food. At a minimum, use hand sanitizer with between 70% – 90% alcohol, should a place to wash hands not be available to you.
- Be aware of the temperature: Use a thermometer and be sure to cook all meat and poultry to the correct temperatures to kill harmful bacteria. Refrigerate foods after serving. Do not keep leftovers out for more than one or two hours.
Guard Against Drowning
Between May and August, drowning deaths among children increase by 89%.
- Do not assume that a teen or relative will be watching. Talk to adults about not using cell phones, texting, or engaging in other distractions while children are swimming.
- Do not use flotation devices; this provides a false sense of security to children.
- Learn CPR. You may never need to use it, but knowing CPR for adults and children can save a life.
- Never leave children unsupervised: Even if your school-aged children are confident and capable swimmers, do not leave the pool area unattended, without adult supervision.
- Put up barriers around the pool to restrict access. Use doors with locks to keep children out of the pool area when adults are not present.
- Drowning happens silently. You may not hear splashing or a call for help. Drowning can happen in minutes and may be silent.
Warning Children about Enclosed Spaces
Warn children about hiding in enclosed spaces. Teach children never to play hide and seek by crawling inside an enclosed space, such as a car trunk, chest, or old cooler or appliance.
With these important safety tips in place, I’m sure your summer activities will be great!