Summertime means longer days, rising temperatures and a seemingly endless list of outdoor activities to keep the whole family occupied until September.
Unfortunately, with the bike rides, beach days and barbeques also comes safety hazards. To help keep your family safe, we’ve compiled a list of tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics.
- Whenever infants or toddlers are in or around water, an adult – preferably one who knows how to swim and perform CPR – should be within arm’s length, providing “touch supervision.”
- Avoid entrapment: Suction from pool and spa drains can trap a swimmer underwater. Do not use a pool or spa if there are broken or missing drain covers.
- Children should always wear lifejackets at all times when on boats or near bodies of water. Make sure the life jacket is the right size for your child. The jacket should not be loose. It should always be worn as instructed with all straps belted.
- Adolescents and adults should be warned of the dangers of boating when under the influence of alcohol, drugs, and even some prescription medications.
- Teach children about rip currents. If you are caught in a rip current, swim parallel to shore until you escape the current, and then swim back to shore.
- Use a sunscreen with an SPF 15 or greater that protects against UVA and UVB rays. Be sure to apply enough sunscreen — about one ounce per sitting for a young adult.
- The sun’s damaging UV rays can bounce back from sand or concrete; so be particularly careful of these areas.
- Try to find a wide-brimmed hat that can shade the cheeks, chin, ears and back of the neck. Sunglasses with ultraviolet (UV) protection are also a good idea for protecting your child’s eyes.
- When choosing a sunscreen, look for the words “broad-spectrum” on the label – it means that the sunscreen will protect against both ultraviolet B (UVB) and ultraviolet A (UVA) rays. Choose a water-resistant sunscreen and reapply every two hours or after swimming, sweating or towel drying.
- 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.
- If children are jumping on a trampoline, they should be supervised by a responsible adult, and only one child should be on the trampoline at a time; 75% of trampoline injuries occur when more than one person is jumping at a time.
- Children who are too young to have a driver’s license should not be allowed to operate or ride off-road vehicles. Children are involved in about 30 percent of all ATV-related deaths and emergency room-treated injuries.
- Drivers of recreational vehicles should not drive while under the influence of alcohol, drugs or even some prescription medicines. Parents should set an example for their children in this regard