11 Tips to Help Get the Most Out of the Season
As schools close for the summer, here are some tips to keep you and your family healthy and safe and get the most out of your summer fun!
Water activities can be a great way to cool off and get exercise during the hot summer months. Taking these precautionary steps can help you and your family enjoy the pool and beach safely:
- Enroll your child in swim lessons. Swim lessons can help your child become more confident in and around the water and give them tools to prevent drowning and other injuries.
- Always supervise children near or around the water. Accidents can happen, even with children who know how to swim. Bringing kids to pools and beaches with trained lifeguards and keeping an extra eye on them when they’re in the water can help mitigate the risk of drowning.
- Wear life jackets while on the water. From boating to paddle boarding to jetskiing, there are endless possibilities for fun on the water. Life jackets help mitigate the risk of drowning and should be properly fitted for maximum safety.
Sun and Heat Safety
The summer sun can be a great source of Vitamin D and makes the days feel brighter. However, as the weather warms up and UV indexes rise, so does your chance of skin damage from the sun, like sunburn. Here are some ways to protect yourself against dangerous sun exposure, while savoring the gorgeous days:
- Apply sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher at least 20 minutes before going outside. Remember to reapply every two hours or after swimming or sweating heavily. Use higher SPF for areas with sensitive skin, like the face.
- Wear sunglasses that block UVA and UBA rays. Many people tend to forget about the eyes when it comes to sun protection, but melanoma can affect the eyes just like the skin.
- Limit sun exposure during the hours with the highest UV index, between 10 am and 2 pm. Pick chairs near umbrellas at the pool or beach to provide a shady option for spending the day outside.
Hydrate! The U.S. Department of Health recommends the average woman drink 8 cups of fluids a day and men drink about 10 cups. If you are exerting yourself in the summer sun, remember to drink more water to replenish the fluids and avoid dehydration and overheating. Signs you’re dehydrated include thirst, headaches, lethargy, dizziness and dry or cracked lips.
- Although rare, it's possible to drink too much water. Consuming too much water in a short period of time causes water intoxication (hyponatremia) and can be very dangerous, as it risks overwhelming the kidneys. Warning signs include headaches, blurred vision and cramps. You can avoid the problem by drinking fluids throughout the day and resisting the urge to chug liquids, even when extremely thirsty.
- Never leave a child unattended in a hot car. Car temperatures can rise rapidly in the sun. Make sure to double-check the back seat before leaving the car.
While participating in other recreational activities, also remember:
- Make sure your kids have well-fitting helmets while bike riding, skateboarding, roller-blading or any other activity on wheels. Helmets can greatly limit serious injury. Check your kids’ helmets by making sure the straps are tightened to the point that the helmet is still comfortable and doesn’t wobble.
- Keep young children away from sparklers or other fireworks, especially around the Fourth of July.
- Use bug spray to prevent bothersome bites. Also, know the signs of more serious reactions, like trouble breathing and hives. If you or your child has an allergy to insect bites, remember to keep epinephrine handy and stored away from the sun.