Summer is supposed to be filled with sun and fun, but if you’re not prepared, even the best day can turn into a bad one. So, take note of these super summer safety tips for a happier, healthier season:
Don’t get sun burned – If you enjoy outdoor activities, summer can be the perfect time for a trip to the beach, pool, playground, theme park, hiking trail or other locales that make for lots of family fun. However, fun in the sun can become uncomfortable very quickly if you or your kids spend too much time under the ultraviolet rays. To avoid painful sunburn, follow these summer safety tips:
• Wear a hat and sunglasses that block at least 99 percent of ultraviolet rays.
• Avoid direct sun exposure between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., when the sun is most intense.
• Use sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 or greater, and apply it at least 30 minutes before going outdoors. Reapply the sunscreen every two hours, or after swimming or sweating.
Stay hydrated – When you’re active in the summer heat and you sweat, your body loses essential hydration, which can lead to heat exhaustion or possibly heat stroke. While you’re playing tennis, tossing around a Frisbee, biking or whatever, make sure you drink plenty of water, about one cup every half hour. Also, try to avoid caffeinated drinks, which can actually dehydrate your body.
Be safe in and around the swimming pool – Few things feel better on a scorching summer day than a refreshing dip in the pool. Nevertheless, a great afternoon in the water can quickly turn into a nightmare if the following safety rules from the American Academy of Pediatrics aren’t followed:
• Never swim alone or leave your children alone in or near a pool. An adult, preferably one who knows CPR, should actively supervise children at all times.
• Practice “touch-supervision” with children younger than 5 years old. This means that an adult is within an arm’s length of the child at all times.
• Keep rescue equipment, such as a “shepherd’s” hook or life preserver, and a telephone by the pool.
• Use certified life vests instead of air-filled swimming aids that can easily deflate.
• Remove all toys from the pool after you’ve finished swimming, so that children aren’t tempted to reach for them.
• After the children have finished swimming, secure the pool area so they can’t get back in unsupervised.
Pack the perfect picnic – An easy thing to do when packing for a picnic is to shove everything into a cooler and then be on your way. Unfortunately, such lack of preparation can lead to big problems later in the day. Take a little time before hitting the road to make sure that your food doesn’t turn foul. These tips will help:
• Pack perishable foods such as chicken, burgers, eggs and salads, make sure these items are kept on ice inside the cooler.
• Because picnickers often have one meal but many drinks, pack your drinks in a separate cooler so the food cooler isn’t opened repeatedly, allowing the food to spoil more quickly. Granted, it’s a bit harder to drag along two coolers, but it’s a lot better than dealing with food poisoning on the ride home.
• Even if space may be limited inside the car, it’s much safer to keep your cooler in the air-conditioned car rather than in the hot trunk. After taking the cooler from the car to the picnic area, keep it in the shade.
A big part of staying healthy is being prepared and anticipating what could go wrong. Be sure to pack items you don’t always need but that are great to have around, including band-aids, paper towels, tissues and even chewing gum, which is a great way to stave off the complaining when someone is hungry. It’s also a good idea to pack more than one can of bug spray, so that you don’t run out if bugs are rampant and everybody is itching.