Each year, Memorial Day weekend kicks off the summer season and stretches all the way until Labor Day. This also means your children are out of school. But, did you know that more injuries happen in the 14 weeks between these two holidays than any other time of the year? Here are 4 summer safety tips to keep your kids safe this summer:
Does anything define an American summer more than a road trip? Make sure your summer road trip is memorable for all of the right reasons this year. Avoid a summer safety incident by following simple and smart safety measures such as:
- Always wear seatbelts.
- Make sure younger kids are in age-appropriate car seats.
- Never text and drive.
- Avoid driving when tired- It may be easier to drive through the night when the kids are sleeping but drowsy driving can be just as dangerous as driving under the influence of alcohol.
- Watch children closely in busy parking lots and rest areas.
The pool, ocean, lake, or stream all mean summer fun and are great for cooling off. However, drowning is a major summer safety concern and children should never, ever, be left alone near water and parents should closely supervise children. Young children can drown in less than 2 inches of water and should be within an arm’s reach of an adult at all times.
Slather on the SFP! Children from six months of age and up should wear sunscreen if spending time outside. Even on cloudy days, it’s important to make sure you protect your kids’ skin from harmful UV rays. Remember to reapply every two hours. To increase protection, outfit your kids with SPF rated shirts, hats, and sunglasses.
With warmer weather comes the chance of your child suffering from a heat injury or illness such as heat exhaustion or heat stroke. Both are serious summer safety concerns, but it’s important to know and recognize the differences, it could save your child’s life.
Signs and symptoms include:
- flushed skin that is very hot to the touch
- rapid breathing
- confusion or irrational behavior
- convulsions or unresponsiveness
- your child will likely have stopped sweating
*If you suspect your child is suffering from heat stroke, call 911 immediately!
While waiting for help to arrive
- Move the victim to a cool place out of the sun and remove the outer layer of clothing
- Try to cool your child by immersing up to the neck in cool water or using cold, wet compresses such as paper towels, blankets sheets, or clothing
- Do not try to force the victim to drink liquids
- Monitor the victim’s breathing and be ready to give CPR if needed
Heat exhaustion can occur when your child’s body loses an excessive amount of salt and water. Symptoms are similar to those of the flu and can include:
- severe thirst
- and sometimes, diarrhea
Other symptoms include:
- profuse sweating,
- clammy or pale skin,
- rapid pulse
- normal or slightly elevated body temperature
Heat exhaustion can quickly turn into heatstroke, so make sure to treat your child quickly.
- Move them to a shaded and cool area
- Offer water or other cool beverages such as Gatorade or juice to replenish lost electrolytes
- Apply wet towels or have them take a cool shower
Making sure your kids get plenty of liquids is one of the easiest ways to prevent heat-related injury this summer. Make sure your kids are staying hydrated throughout the day. Try these great alternatives to plain water to encourage your kids to drink more. Also offer fresh fruit and vegetables which contain lots of natural water and electrolytes.