Summer’s a great time for enjoying outdoor activities and making lasting memories. It can also be a time of increased injury risk. Fortunately, with a little preparation and extra vigilance, you and your family can have a safe and enjoyable summer.
Top 8 Tips for Keeping Your Family Injury-Free This Summer
Use the safety strategies below to help keep you and your kids off the sidelines and in the action all summer long.
1. Protect yourselves from the sun.
Getting even one blistering sunburn before the age of 18 doubles the risk of developing melanoma as an adult. Whenever possible, stay out of the sun between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. when its rays are the strongest. And, whenever you’re out in the sunshine, wear a sunscreen of SPF 30 or higher that’s formulated to protect against UVA and UVB rays.
2. Stay cool and hydrated.
Hot days, when the heat index (a figure that combines actual temperature and relative humidity) is over 90 °F, can be dangerous, especially for young kids. Be sure that they drink plenty of water and wear clothing that’s both lightweight and protects them from the sun.
3. NEVER leave children unattended in a vehicle.
Vehicle interiors can heat up surprisingly quickly on summer days. Combine that with the fact that a child’s body can overheat far faster than an adult’s, and there’s an extreme risk of heatstroke injury or death for kids who are left in a car for even a few minutes. Always double-check that everyone is out of the car before you walk away. Never assume that someone else has gotten young kids out of the vehicle.
4. Wear protective gear when appropriate.
Accidents on bikes, roller skates, skateboards, and scooters are a major reason for visits to urgent care or the emergency room. Require kids to wear helmets, knee pads, wrist guards, and other appropriate gear when participating in these activities. And model good behavior by gearing up yourself.
5. Be your own lifeguard.
Anytime you’re near a pool or other body of water, take full responsibility for your child’s safety. Even if a lifeguard is present, you never should let your children be out of your sight. And a young child never should be out of arm’s reach. Also, remember that young kids can drown in just a few inches of water and in less than a minute.
6. Prevent lawnmower injuries.
Thousands of children every year are injured by lawnmowers. Set age-appropriate rules for your kids. For example, toddlers shouldn’t be in the area and unsupervised when someone’s mowing the lawn. And kids shouldn’t be allowed to operate a push mower until they’re 12 or a riding mower until they’re 16 years old. Also, no “passengers” of any age should be allowed on riding mowers.
7. Use caution around grills and campfires.
As with lawnmowers, make rules about how close children can be to grills and campfires. Burn injuries can happen in the blink of an eye.
8. Be prepared.
Nothing feels worse as a parent than to find yourself in a situation where you don’t have the supplies or skills you need to protect or care for your child — or any child you’re responsible for. Items like bug spray to prevent mosquito and tick bites, sunscreen, and a fully stocked first aid kit are essential, and knowing CPR can save a life.
With kids, the injury risk seems to be higher in the summer months. However, the safety tips above aren’t meant to frighten anyone! Rather, they’re intended to increase awareness so that the fun times can continue uninterrupted.
Learn About Pediatric and Primary Care Services at Baptist Health
When someone in your family needs medical care, you want to know where to turn. Be prepared for everything from summertime injuries to annual physicals by finding a Baptist Health pediatric or primary care provider today.
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