Play It Safe This Summer!

Now that warm weather is finally upon us, so begins the season of outdoor play, activities, travel, and adventure!  It’s important to remember to practice a few safety tips to maximize the enjoyment of it all.
Bug Off!
Not only does the warm, sunny weather coax the humans outside, but it also brings the bugs.  Some of these pesky creatures, specifically mosquitoes, ticks, and flies, can spread diseases, such as the Zika virus and Lyme disease.  To reduce the risk of bug bites and stings, you can take these steps:

  • Use Insect Repellent
  • Cover Up
    • Keep your skin covered.
    • Tuck shirts into pants.
    • Wear hats or hair covering.
    • If in an area heavily occupied by bugs, wear long sleeves and pants, and tuck pant legs into socks.

Keep Your Cool!
The increase in temps brings about an increase in heat-related illnesses including heat stroke, heat exhaustion, and heat cramps.  Those most often impacted by the heat are infants and young children, the elderly, pets, those who work outside, athletes and people who exercise frequently, individuals with altered sweat production from a disorder or as a result of medication, those with heart or circulatory problems, and abusers of alcohol and/or drugs.  Beat the heat by following a few easy instructions:

  • Stay hydrated by drinking lots of water.
  • Take frequent breaks.
  • Get into some shade and out of the sun, or preferably into air conditioning, especially during the hottest time of the day between 11am and 3pm.
  • Wear loose, lightweight clothing and a hat during prolonged exposure to increased temperatures.
  • Wear sunscreen to avoid sunburn.
  • Pace yourself with exertion.

Watch Out for Water!
What better way to enjoy the sun than being in or on the water?  Safety on boats, and in any size body of water is often overlooked, yet very important.  According to the National Safety Council, drowning, although more common for children under 5, is the second leading cause of death for people 5-24 years of age.  Stay safe around water by adhering to these guidelines:

  • Tips for Boat Safety
    • Always wear a life jacket, and be sure to have enough for everyone aboard.
    • Avoid unfamiliar areas.
    • Never leave a child alone on the boat or near water.
    • Never consume drugs or alcohol while boating.
    • Have a pre-departure list of everything you need for your adventure, including tool box and first aid kit, and check it prior to heading out.
  • Tips for Safe Swimming
    • Use the buddy system and don’t swim alone.
    • Never leave a child alone in or near water.
    • Take swimming lessons and enroll your child in them, as well.
    • Only go into the water if you know how to swim, and stay in water which accommodates your skill level.
    • Avoid unfamiliar areas.
    • No rough play in the water, including dunking, pushing, and jumping on others.
    • Never swim under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
    • Learn CPR.

Bikes, Swings, and Other Fun Things!
Ah, sweet summertime.  No more school or inclement weather to keep everyone contained inside.  It’s time for riding bikes, climbing trees, and possibly scraping a few knees.  A little caution on the playground and sidewalks can go a long way.

  • When on wheels, wear a helmet. Whether skates, rollerblades, rip sticks, bikes, trikes, or skateboards are your thing, cover your noggin and protect that brain!
  • Ride on bike paths and designated areas.
  • Familiarize yourself with parks and playgrounds. Know your surroundings.
  • Do a quick inspection for unsafe playground equipment such as improper protective “fall” surfaces, sharp or rusty equipment, and platforms with no guardrails.
  • Never leave your child alone in a park or on the playground.
  • Avoid over-crowded play areas.
  • Stay hydrated while outside in the heat. Drink lots of water.
  • Have a first aid kit on hand or in the car.
  • Create a list of safety rules and go over them with your children.

No matter how you spend your summer months, be safe and have fun!

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