Don’t let an easily preventable injury keep you from having a fun and memorable summer. Keep your family healthy by following these tips for a safe and happy season.
A little bit of sunshine is a great for vitamin D, but getting too much can cause serious issues.
Using a sunscreen rated SPF 30 or greater will help prevent sunburn, but it won’t be effective unless it’s reapplied every three hours or after each time you take a swim.
Remember: The sun’s rays are strongest during the middle of the day, so consider designating indoor playtime with kids between noon and 3 p.m. If going indoors isn’t an option, find a shady spot beneath a shelter, umbrella or trees to kick back and cool off.
Other ways to stay cool in the sun? Wide-brimmed hats, long-sleeved cotton clothing and sunglasses will help protect you from harmful UV rays, while drinking plenty of water will help you stay hydrated.
The sun isn’t the only thing that can burn you this summer. Now is the perfect time to make sure fully functional smoke detectors are in every room of the house. Make certain that everyone in your family knows the locations of fire extinguishers and how to use them, as well as what do in case of a fire. Practicing “STOP, DROP AND ROLL!” can be a fun activity to do with your kids any time of year.
And remember: Fireworks are highly dangerous and should never be used or touched by children. Instead, consider using glow sticks or LED-lit toys for your celebrations.
Bike-related injuries are far too common, and most can be avoided when proper precautions are taken. Make sure your bike has properly inflated tires, reflectors, working brakes and is sized correctly for the rider.
All riders must wear a properly fitted bicycle helmet every time they ride. To ensure the helmet fits properly, have your child try it on before purchasing.
Before heading out, remind every rider to ride safe, ride alert and ride in a straight line.
Swimming may be one of the most popular activities in the summer, but it’s also one of the most dangerous. Whether you’re poolside or lakeside, it’s important to exercise caution before entering the water.
If heading to the beach or lake, take a few minutes to notice the wind and waves. Strong currents and big waves can overpower even the most experienced swimmers. When in doubt, don’t go out.
Young or inexperienced swimmers should never rely on “water wings” alone as flotation devices. Instead, wear a brightly colored U.S. Coast Guard-approved lifejacket complete with reflectors and a waterproof whistle. Avoid lifejackets that are blue or black as they are less visible in the water.
Planning a road trip? Remember to always wear your seatbelt and minimize distractions (like using your cell phone) while driving – it’s the law!
Children should never be left unattended in a car and should be reminded that good behavior helps keep everyone on the road safe. Keep kids occupied with their favorite music, educational games and other car-friendly activities to help prevent them from yelling, throwing objects or getting out of their seats.
Anthony Zalewski, RN
Injury Prevention & Outreach Coordinator