Summer comes with more freedom – to go on vacation, spend time outdoors, relax and enjoy good company. Spirits are high, but so are the risks to your health and safety. Dehydration, boating accidents and sunburn are a few leading summer-related threats.
Have a summer safety meeting with your family now.
Go through the dos and don’ts with your kids before summer trips, campouts and water activities.
- Be careful to inform them without scaring them.
- Explain why safety is important and give them specific steps to take to avoid getting hurt.
- Cover things like boat safety, water safety, sun protection and helmet safety.
Protect yourself from sun-related health emergencies.
Your risk for melanoma doubles after five sunburns in your lifetime. Sunburns not only cause a risk of skin cancer down the line, they also be a health emergency in the short-term if severe.
- A severe burn may cause flu-like symptoms: nausea, headache, weakness, chills and a fever for twelve to twenty-four hours.
- Check your weather app for the UV index and apply sunscreen accordingly--SPF 30 or higher. Apply it 30 minutes before going outside and reapply every two hours.
- Make sure your sunscreen says “broad-spectrum coverage” on the bottle. This type will protect you from both UVA and UVB rays.
- For extra protection for your face and neck, wear a wide-brimmed hat.
Pay attention to your body and know when it’s time for a break.
Heat exhaustion kills 600 people every year, according to the Centers for Disease Control.1 Factors that put you at higher risk include diabetes, heart disease and alcohol consumption.
- If you stop sweating, your mouth gets dry, or you feel dizzy, go inside and drink water.
- Drink water at least every 20 minutes. Add a low-sugar sports drink to replenish electrolytes.
- Don’t drink alcohol if you’re going to be in the sun. That can lead to dehydration as well.
Steer clear of harmful plants and animals.
If you’re an avid camper or hiker, download an identification app or carry a book with photos of dangerous plants for reference.
- Always wear insect repellent containing DEET and check for ticks on yourself and your kids after a day outside.
- Avoid wearing heavy perfumes or scents, to keep from attracting bugs.
- Wear light-, solid-colored clothes, as insects are attracted to floral prints and dark colors.
Follow boat and water safety rules.
Before you set foot on any kind of boat, put on a U.S. Coast Guard-approved lifejacket! This approval should be indicated on the tag.
- Review How to Choose the Right Life Jacket
- Don’t drink alcohol near pools, lakes, rivers or the ocean. It can lead to both dehydration and dangerous behavior.
- Check your public pool’s latest inspection results. Dangerous bacteria and chemicals are more common in poorly maintained pools.
See Summer Safety for You and Your Kids at WebMd.com.